Widower’s Head Start mission in memory of beloved wife

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The husband of a woman who passed away from a brain tumour discovered during a routine eye test is calling on people to don their running shoes in a mission to raise vital cash for a Sheffield brain charity.

Mark Bingham, aged 34, from Chesterfield is taking part in the ninth annual Head Start run to raise as much money as possible for Neurocare, the Sheffield charity which works to improve the lives of people with brain disease and injury.

His charity mission – which an army of his family and friends are also taking part in - is in memory of beloved wife Fiona, who lost a short battle against an aggressive brain tumour.

Mark said: “The only symptoms Fi had prior to diagnosis were flickering lights in her vision, which the GP put down to migraine auras. She was only diagnosed after a routine eye test for a new pair of prescription sunglasses found pressure on the optic nerve at the back of her eyes.

“She was referred to the Royal Hallamshire Hospital where she had brain surgery just six days later. We were both shocked by the whole thing, it’s not something you ever imagine having to deal with and it all happened so quickly.

“After the surgery she had radiotherapy treatment for six weeks which helped to shrink the tumour and she was able to return to work for a while. However a follow up scan showed a tiny amount of growth at the tumour site, which meant she had to undergo chemotherapy.

“The tumour was just too aggressive though and she declined really quickly and passed away in just a matter of days. We were together for fourteen years, married for just over three and a half. It was a terrible thing to have to go through.

“Fi was one of the kindest most caring people you could ever want to meet. She gave her time to anyone that needed it. She fundraised for Neurocare as she knew the importance of the work they do, and wanted to thank staff for the care both of us received while undergoing treatment. She also took part in Head Start in 2015 and 2016. I want to carry on her legacy and continue to raise funds – it will always be a charity close to my heart.

“As well as Head Start I am also taking part in the Big Half in London in March. As I have started running more over the last year, so I thought why not put my running to good use and raise some money while doing it!”

Neurocare supports the neurological centre of excellence at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals which treats patients with a range of neurological conditions including brain tumours, head injuries, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, cancers of the nervous system and stroke.

Head Start, a 5k and chip timed 10k run, will take place on Sunday 20th May 2018 at Rother Valley Country Park. The event is perfect for both first time runners and seasoned professional, as well as those who would just like to walk the course.

For more information, or to register, visit www.neurocare.org.uk/event/head-start-5k-10k, email beth@neurocare.org.uk or call 0114 226 9678.

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