Grandmother finishes first marathon under the midnight sun

2 min read

A grandma ran through the night to finish her first ever marathon in memory of her great nephew who died from a brain tumour. 

Christine Westhead took on the Tromsø Midnight Sun Marathon in Norway on Saturday (17th June) – an event where participants have the rare experience of running in the middle of the night whilst the sun is still over the horizon. She finished her first marathon in an impressive time of 4:51:34. 

Christine has so far raised more than £1,500 for Brain Tumour Research. Her efforts were in memory of her great nephew, Eoghan ‘Oggie’ Gardener, who was diagnosed with a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) when he was just four years old. 

Eoghan was diagnosed with the disease in 2018, after his mother, Laura Flaherty, noticed his right eye blinked independently of his left whilst watching back a video she recorded of her son playing with their new kitten. 

He had surgery in December 2018, followed by radiotherapy, and had a shunt fitted to relieve pressure on his brain. Sadly, on 26th September 2019, just 10 months after his diagnosis, Eoghan passed away, aged five. 

Christine said: “It was a hard task but the weather was kind and the crowd and supporters phenomenal! It was very emotional, thinking of all those children and young people who need better treatments and better outcomes, that’s why it was so important to raise awareness and fundraise to support vital research to achieve this goal. It was too late for Eoghan but hopefully there will come a day when other children will have a better prognosis. That’s the hope. From darkness let there be light and hope for the future.”

To help Christine reach her £2,000 target, please click here to donate to her fundraising page. 

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