Ryde-based Mark was diagnosed with an oligodendroglioma tumour back in 2015 and in April of that year underwent brain surgery, whilst conscious, to allow surgeons to remove 95% of it. Ever since then, Mark has used running to rehabilitate and get his life back on track and he’s now back at work as a firefighter for the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service.
Just a year after his operation Mark entered the London Marathon but had to dramatically pull out of the race at mile 23. He went on to finish his second attempt in 2017. The third race now beckons…
“With all the charity work my wife Kathryn and I have been doing this year, I’ve found training really difficult.
“Due to time and work constraints at the Ryde fire station I went a bought a treadmill after Christmas, much to Kathryn’s disgust, as it has taken over the dining room! 20 miles on a treadmill on a Sunday morning is the not the most fun I’ve ever had, put it that way.”
Over the past few years Mark and Kathryn have been fundraising under the name of ‘Wight Brainy Bunch’, hosting a variety of events with the support of Mark’s colleagues and the local community. To date they have managed to raise over £100,000 and have donated £20,000 to The Brain Tumour Charity.
Speaking about his support of The Brain Tumour Charity, Mark has said:
“I’ve said that I will run every year and continue to support The Brain Tumour Charity, as more money is needed to fund vital research in the hope that one day, myself and others will live longer lives and not suffer the way so many do. One day we will find a cure.
“I can’t see myself breaking any PB’s this year, but I will be there at the start and finish (Kathryn hopes anyway).
“I may be in pain and a broken man, but it will all be worth it, especially when you see the work the Charity is doing and doing so because of money raised from things like the Virgin London Marathon.”
Sarah Moore, events manager at The Brain Tumour Charity, said:
“We’ve all been inspired by Mark’s determination at all three of his marathons and beyond, with the incredible awareness work both he and Kathryn have achieved.
“They’re both a true force of fundraising and charity nature and we’ll be cheering Mark on at every mile.
“As the UK’s foremost brain tumour charity, we are leading the way in fighting this disease on all fronts through our work. We just couldn’t do this without our supporters such as Mark and Kathryn.”
To support Mark on his fundraising journey you can donate at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kathryn-grimes.