Son running marathon in memory of “selfless” mum

2 min read

A man who had a condition that previously left him struggling to walk, is now in training for the TCS London Marathon in memory of his beloved mum who died of brain cancer. 

James Sloan, of Hackney, East London, will be running the iconic 26.2-mile race on Sunday 21st April to raise money and awareness for Brain Tumour Research. 

The 30-year-old’s inspiration comes from his mum, Kirsten Sloan, who was diagnosed with an astrocytoma in August 2015 after suffering a seizure. She underwent surgery and radiotherapy but had to have further surgery in June 2016 following regrowth. 

The NHS worker from Cumbria remained symptom-free for years until a mild facial tick led to the discovery of a glioblastoma (GBM) in January 2021. Despite further surgery and chemotherapy, Kirsten died nine months later, aged 53.  

James, an accountant, said: "Mum was selfless. My brother and I were always her number one priority, and she was so supportive of everything we did. 

I was in my 20s when it happened and had gone through life not really knowing much about brain tumours. Having it happen to our family, to my mum, really opened my eyes to how many others are affected by the disease. That’s why I want to do as much as I can to raise awareness and funds for research, to try and prevent others from having to go through what we did.” 

As a young boy, James enjoyed running but after developing sciatica, he was forced to stop. It was only after pulling a “run 5km a week” New Year’s resolution out of a hat with friends in January 2023, that he decided to give running another go. 

He said: “It’s hard to believe I’ve gone from sometimes struggling to walk to getting ready to run a marathon. My training is going well and I’m following advice from Brain Tumour Research running coach, Lee Perry, to minimise my risk of injury.” 

To support James’ fundraising, visit  

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