Ribble Valley brain tumour survivor describes 'incredible moment' he completed 12 marathons in 12 months raising £6k for three 'inspirational' charities
A brave Billington man, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour at the age of 40, has raised almost £6,000 for three charities who supported him throughout his recovery by running 12 marathons in 12 months.
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.
Last year he decided to lace his trainers and take on an incredible running feat to repay the charities that helped him. His final run last month was his most special as he was joined by his nephew, George. The 18-year-old, of Clitheroe, ran his first marathon in memory of his father who passed away in January last year.
Speaking of the epic challenge, Andrew, who works as a joiner and has a 13-year-old daughter, Gracie, said: "It's been amazing. Absolutely incredible and enjoyable too.
"Less is more and I feel by sticking to a plan, I got stronger as the challenge went on. I completed three marathons in the Ribble Valley, one at Ingleton, then took on the Yorkshire Three Peaks, plus the Dales Way challenge and more more, including a couple of ultra marathons too.
"For my last run in December, I was accompanied by my nephew, George, which was really nice as my sister has been a massive support to me during the past 12 months. We donned fancy dress - I dressed as Elton John and George as Elvis. We first completed Clitheroe Parkrun, then took part in the Hurst Green Turkey Trot and finished the rest of the miles from Whalley. It was absolutely fantastic - great fun with lots of atmosphere and I felt proud George was with me."
Andrew has raised the money to be split between The Cystic Fibrosis Trust, British Acoustic Neuroma Association and Manchester Skull Base Unit (FBT Foundation) at Salford Royal NHS Foundation. He smashed his initial goal 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. 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. That is why I wanted to do my bit to give a little back in these unforeseen challenging times."
He added: "Thank you to each and every one of you who have donated and to my running buddies. All the donations will prove so helpful for these deserving causes. A massive thank you once again, especially to my niece Libby and daughter, Gracie, for their support."
For anyone who has not had chance to donate but would like to, they can CLICK HERE