A GRIEVING son has been inspired to run the London Marathon in memory of his father, who died two years after being diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour.
Jamie Barber will run the world-renowned 26-mile course in the capital on April 23 on behalf of the Brain Tumour Research charity.
The 28-year-old is dedicating the challenge to his father Nigel Barber, who worked in Portsmouth as an assembly integration and test manager at Airbus Space and Defence Ltd.
The money raised will fund research taking place at centres of excellence, including one at the University of Portsmouth, where scientists focus on finding a cure for brain tumours.
Jamie said: ‘Losing my dad had a huge effect on my family. Nigel was always one for actions rather than words so I think he’d be pleased to know I’m trying to improve the prospects of people in the same situation he was in.
‘It’s a sad fact that brain tumours can affect anyone at any time, but nobody knows what causes them.
‘I hope our efforts will help to raise awareness of this indiscriminate disease, and draw attention to the dreadful under-funding of research.’
Nigel, a keen sailor who lived in Hamble with his wife Philippa, was 58 when he died in 2013. The couple were forced to cancel their trip to India when Nigel was taken ill.
Philippa and Jamie were inspired by the travel plans and decided to undertake a 75km trek in the foothills of the Himalayas last year. They raised £3,300 for Brain Tumour Research.
Jamie will run the London Marathon with his friend Dan Hunter, and both hope to have doubled that figure by then. They are two of 40 people who have signed up to run for Team Brain Tumour Research.
Carol Robertson, community fundraising manager for the charity, said: ‘Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, but just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to the neglected disease.
‘Stories like Nigel’s remind us that we cannot allow this situation to continue. We are extremely grateful for Jamie and Dan’s support and are appealing for runners to nominate us as their chosen charity for 2017.’
To find out more about Brain Tumour Research, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit braintumourresearch.org. To make a donation via Jamie’s JustGiving page, go to justgiving.com/fundraising/nigeljbarber.