Brain tumour survivor from the Ribble Valley begins 12 marathons in 12 months challenge for three 'inspirational' charities
A brave Billington man, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour at the age of 40, is lacing his trainers and running 12 marathons in 12 months to raise vital funds for three charities who have supported him throughout his recovery.
Andrew Read (44), was given the devastating news that he had an acoustic neuroma (benign tumour) four years ago when he felt unwell.
Prior to the "life-changing" diagnosis, he was fit and well and in January 2017 had joined the local running club Running4CF. However, three months later, he was diagnosed to have the tumour and underwent major 12-hour surgery to remove it in May that year.
Speaking to the Clitheroe Advertiser about his marathon mission, Andrew who works as a joiner and has a 12-year-old daughter, said: "I had joined the incredible running club Running4CF. I hadn’t run much before this, but enjoyed getting to know people and enjoyed getting more into running. I also turned 40 in the same year, but then on April 24th, 2017, my life changed forever when I was diagnosed with a benign brain tumour (acoustic neuroma)...... what a 40th birthday present that was!
"After a 12-hour operation to remove the tumour, the club was unbelievably supportive to me in my recovery and I didn't start running again until September 2018. The people I’ve met (my running family) are all so inspirational and have given me so much confidence and encouragement over the years to make me into the runner I am today - and have been a tremendous distraction to what I have been, and still am going through. So, I decided to come up with a crazy challenge of 12 marathons in 12 months! I have already finished my third marathon. The first two were in the nice sunshine, but I ran the third in the rain!"
He added: "My recovery began with loss of hearing and balance nerve in my right ear, facial weakness on the right side with no tear or saliva , eye weight as my eye will not close on its own and I still require eye drops daily for life. The care and aftercare I received has been fantastic in helping me to walk again and getting back to my new normal life .Basically, I've been given a second chance in life."
Andrew will be raising money for The Cystic Fibrosis Trust, British Acoustic Neuroma Association and Manchester Skull Base Unit (FBT Foundation) at Salford Royal NHS Foundation. His goal is to raise £1,000 for each charity.
He went onto say: "The incredible support I’ve received from all three charities is very heartwarming and fantastic. They have all given me so much confidence, encouragement , determination and stubbornness to succeed in anything I do. That is why I want to do my bit to give a little back in these unforeseen challenging times.
"I also want to say a massive thank you to my close family and friends for their ongoing support and love ️over the past almost four years."
Anyone wishing to donate towards Andrew's marathon challenge is asked to CLICK HERE