A trio of men including one from Sunderland who have all been diagnosed with aggressive and incurable brain tumours have raised thousands of pounds by completing an 84-mile walk.
Graydon Downs, 39, from Sunderland, a former commercial manager now on long-term sick leave with an aggressive and incurable brain tumour, carried out the walk along Hadrian’s Wall over a week.
Graydon is part of the Three Tumours, which also includes Gateshead man Ian Hardy and Dan Howard from Newcastle.
They have all survived more than five years (normal survival prognosis is 12 to 18 months) since being diagnosed.
They have raised more than £7,500 to date to fund research into the devastating disease.
The donations will be split between Brain Tumour Research, brainstrust and The Brain Tumour Charity. https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/thethreetumours
The team were joined by Vincent McCluskey, a paramedic from the Scottish Ambulance Service.
Graydon, of Hall Farm Road, said: “It was a great opportunity to raise awareness about what happens after diagnosis with a brain tumour.
"We met so many who have also been impacted themselves by a brain tumour or through a loved one.
"Just 1% of the national cancer spend has been allocated to brain tumour research which is unacceptable.
"We want more money to go into research so it was very important to us finding a purpose to our lives through doing this walk.”
Ian added: “It’s been a fantastic journey starting way back when we first had the idea to actually doing Hadrian’s Wall to make a difference for brain tumour patients.
"It’s been a chance to make a powerful step forward to move things forward towards better outcomes.
"Currently less than 20% of brain tumour patients survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers.
“I am not going to lie – I was in lots of pain going up the hills, but I felt so supported by everyone in our team.”
Dan said: “The physical demands on us were much harder than we expected, but the camaraderie and determination amongst us kept us going and these guys have all become such good friends.”
Carol Robertson, Head of Community Fundraising at Brain Tumour Research said: “Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer.
"We are so grateful to The Three Tumours and their supporters for helping to raise awareness and vital funds to help find more effective treatments and ultimately a cure for this devastating disease.
“We congratulate you all on this amazing feat and don’t underestimate the effort and determination, even the blood, sweat and tears, involved in achieving the Hadrian’s Wall challenge."