Our 200k in May Your Way challenge begins

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A woman whose brain tumour went undiagnosed for two decades and a daughter who lost her mum to brain cancer are among our supporters who are beginning the 200k in May Your Way challenge today (1st May).

Clare Rapley, 48, from South Devon, was diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma in August 2011. The mother-of-three was told hearing loss in her right ear was caused by a brain tumour, 26 years after her symptoms started when she was just nine.

After years of consulting doctors, who told Clare there was nothing wrong, a failed hearing test led to an MRI that showed a 5.5cm tumour and two cysts growing on her brain.

As a result of a 17-hour operation, Clare was left with life-changing injuries including impaired vision, facial paralysis and epilepsy.

Clare, who used to be a duty manager for Lidl and is now doing a master’s degree in forensic psychology, said: “My brain tumour has changed the course of my life. I left school at 15 having had a difficult time growing up due to my hearing loss, but it has made me more determined to succeed in everything I try.”

Now, Clare plans to walk in the company of her dog, Percy, to achieve the 200km distance throughout May. She said: “I don’t want other people to suffer. We must invest in research into brain tumours to save future generations.”

Meanwhile, Emma Cooper, from Berkshire, will combine cycling, walking and running to complete her fundraising challenge, in memory of her mum, Anne Palmer (pictured together at top).

Grandmother-of-one Anne was diagnosed with a glioblastoma (GBM) in September 2021 after suffering a seizure in bed. She had surgery followed by six weeks of radiotherapy and managed three rounds of chemotherapy until her cancer progressed. She died 16 months later, aged 64.

Emma, 35, who is mum to Lola, said: “I thought Mum might have had a stroke. When we were told the tumour was the size of a golf-ball, it felt as though I’d been hit by a freight train, especially having supported my best friend through the loss of her dad to the same disease five years earlier.

“I’d seen the limited treatment options available then and knew that treatment for Mum would only slow down the inevitable, which was that Mum was going to die because of this disease.

“The quality of care Mum received was amazing, but it’s the treatment options that are letting patients and their families down.”

To donate to Brain Tumour Research via Clare’s challenge, please visit: www.facebook.com/donate/443641911391118/10235002974441463/

To donate to Brain Tumour Research via Emma’s challenge, please visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/emmaclaire1711991598122

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