A STRATFORD dad hopes to cycle over 300 kilometres and raise money for charity in memory of his step-father who died of a brain tumour.
Shaun Sparrow, aged 35, wants his charity contribution to help raise awareness and possibly help find a cure for one of the biggest cancer killers of children and adults under the age of 40.
Shaun has signed up to the Brain Tumour Research charity’s national On Yer Bike campaign, which runs throughout February and hopes to raise £300 by using his evenings and weekends in the saddle to keep the donations coming in; he’s already completed 75 kilometres.
The father of four has very personal motivations for the challenge after his step-father, Steve Horton, a popular gardening team leader at Leicester University, who lived in Barwell, Leicestershire, was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), in October 2016. He tragically passed away on Christmas Eve the following year, aged 61.
Shaun said: “Steve was a man I looked up to and considered a friend. He and my mum Sharon had been together for more than 15 years. He was funny, kind and supportive and was always happy to help wherever he could without ever expecting anything in return.
“Steve was rarely ever ill. His diagnosis came without warning, after he suffered a loss of sensation down one side of his body. It was as if someone had flicked a switch and his life would never be the same again. He underwent emergency surgery to remove the tumour, and a tough combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, but continued to decline.”
Shaun added: “It broke my heart to see Steve become so ill and lose his life to this awful disease. His death motivated me to fundraise and raise awareness and that is why I am participating in On Yer Bike. I hope to inspire others to take part in the campaign and I’m looking forward to the cycling challenge.”
Carrie Bater, senior community fundraising manager at Brain Tumour Research in the Midlands, said: “We are extremely thankful for Shaun’s support and we hope he inspires cyclists of all abilities to take part in On Yer Bike for this important cause.”
Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated Research Centres of Excellence in the UK; it also campaigns for the Government and the larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours in order to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure. The charity is calling for an annual spend of £35m in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia.
To sponsor Shaun and follow his progress go to https://onyerbike.everydayhero.com/uk/shaun