Family of Portsmouth dad who died of brain tumour finish the Great South Run in his memory

HEARTBROKEN loved ones of a Portsmouth dad who died of a brain tumour completed the Great South Run in his memory.

Sunday, 17th October 2021, 2:38 pm
Graham Green, formerly of Portsmouth, died of a brain tumour last year.

A team of 13 relatives and friends tackled the epic 10-mile route alongside some 16,000 other people in memory of Graham Green, who died last November.

Among the squad included Graham’s three children, a nephew and a great-niece, four of his eight grandchildren and four employees from Portsmouth Demolition and Salvage Ltd, the company Graham set up at the age of 17.

Graham was at work on July 13, 2019 when he suffered what was initially thought to have been a stroke.

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Graham's three children Sharon, Andrew and Michelle who were part of a team of 13 friends and family tackling the Great South Run in memory of Graham Green.

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His speech went and he was unable to move. A stroke was ruled out early on and further tests were conducted, and within a few weeks Graham was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain tumour.

Speaking before Sunday’s race, Sharon Hayward, 50, Graham’s eldest child, said: ‘We were all called in as a family and told that dad wouldn’t still be here at Christmas without treatment.

‘Dad was offered an awake craniotomy, followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy and decided to go ahead to have more time with the family and especially mum – they had been together since they were both 14.

Graham pictured with his grandchildren and wife, Vivien.

‘We tried to do as much as possible with dad during his breaks from chemo, but because of Covid, we were very limited. Sadly, dad never got to fulfil his wish to go to Jersey and Guernsey – the last place he knew his dad had lived – and when he finally tracked down the father he had never got to meet, he learned he had died the previous month.’

Despite surgery and subsequent treatment, Graham’s brain tumour grew back very aggressively and, by August 2020, it became plain he wasn’t responding to treatment so it was stopped.

Sharon added: ‘Dad deteriorated very rapidly. The brain tumour affected his personality and he lost his sense of humour, as well as his memory. Sometimes he would forget who I was, which was very difficult.

‘However, he always understood what was coming and didn’t dwell on it. He would just get on and make the most of everything – family and friends were so important to him. He always believed in making the most of what he’d got and would tell us that there were people worse off than him.’

The team of fundraisers have so far drummed up more than £5,000 for charity Brain Tumour Research.

Figures show that less than 12 per cent of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50 per cent across all cancers.

Melanie Tiley, community development manager for Brain Tumour Research was thankfully to the family for their fundraising efforts and said: ‘Graham’s tragic story is a stark reminder that brain tumours are indiscriminate and can affect anyone at any time.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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