Marathon runner aims to boost ‘neglected’ brain tumour studies

    FATHER DOWN THE ROAD Kevin Bell with his children Lucia and Samuel

    A FATHER from Tunbridge Wells is running the London Marathon to raise funds for research into the disease which killed his father.

    City trader Kevin Bell was 21 when his previously fit and healthy father Tony passed away at the age of 52.

    A biopsy revealed he had an aggressive and inoperable brain tumour and he died two weeks after being hospitalised.

    Now his son, 46 and a father of two, is aiming to raise £10,000 for the charity Brain Tumour Research by taking part in the race on April 23.

    He said: “I remember everyone saying how young he was but to me at the time, 52 seemed quite old. Now I’m only six years away from that age myself, I understand that it is no age at all.

    “When you become a father you have a responsibility to your kids which wasn’t there before. You suddenly become aware of your own mortality so recently I’ve been mega-health conscious and determined to live a healthier lifestyle.”

    The self-employed oil trader was also affected by the loss of a family friend, the Casualty actress Rebekah Gibbsm who died of a secondary brain tumour two years ago.

    Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer but just 1 per cent of the national spending on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.

    Carol Robertson, Community Fundraising Manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “For too long, brain tumours have been a neglected cancer. Experiences like Kevin’s remind us all that we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue.

    Brain Tumour Research is campaigning to see the national spend on brain tumour research increased to £35 million a year, in line with breast and leukaemia.

    To make a donation go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising and search for Kevin Bell. For more information, visit www.braintumourresearch.org