Best friend’s brain tumour diagnosis inspires marathon challenge

1 min read

After his best man was diagnosed with a brain tumour, one Clapham resident is taking part in next year’s London Marathon to raise funds for research into the disease.

Ben Griffiths, 30, was inspired to take part in the challenge event after his best friend and cousin, Richard Greensmith, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in May 2015.

On Sunday 22nd April 2018, Ben will be pounding the streets of the capital to raise money for the pioneering charity Brain Tumour Research, which is funding world-leading research to find a cure for the disease. Ben has set himself a target of raising £3,500 for the charity.

Richard, an otherwise healthy 30-year-old, was diagnosed after he experienced a seizure during a weekly tennis match. Although the tumour was categorised as low-grade, he has had to endure invasive surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy to control the tumour.

Ben said: “We were all shocked when we heard the news that Richard had a brain tumour. He was a fit and strong, so why would he get a tumour? There is little known about this disease, so it’s important to me to do what I can and help raise funds for research.

“Richard and I are not only cousins, but are best friends. We were even best man for each other. What he has had to go through is awful and he has been so positive all the way through. He is a constant inspiration to me every day.”

Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone, at any age, at any time. What’s more, they kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.

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

“We are extremely grateful to Ben for his support and are appealing for runners who have a ballot place for the marathon to join him on Team Brain Tumour Research by nominating us as their chosen charity for 2018. Together we will find a cure.”

To make a donation to Brain Tumour Research via Richard’s JustGiving page go to and for more information on applying for one of Brain Tumour Research’s remaining London Marathon places go to


For further information, please contact:
Lexie Jenkins at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 867222 or 07591 206545 or


Notes to Editors

Brain Tumour Research is the only national charity in the UK focused on funding sustainable research to find a cure for brain tumours. We are building a game-changing network of world-class Research Centres of Excellence in the UK. Embracing passionate member charities nationwide, £5.5 million was raised towards research and support during 2016.

We are campaigning to see the national spend on research into brain tumours increased to £30 - £35 million a year, in line with breast cancer and leukaemia. The charity is celebrating a year of high-profile campaigning on this issue following the unprecedented success of its petition in 2016. Following that, Brain Tumour Research is now taking a leading role in the Government’s Task and Finish Working Group convened to tackle the historic underfunding for research.

Key statistics on brain tumours:

  • Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer
  • They kill more children than leukaemia
  • They kill more men under 45 than prostate cancer
  • They kill more women under 35 than breast cancer
  • Just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease
  • In the UK 16,000 people each year are diagnosed with a brain tumour
  • Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers
  • Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone, at any age
  • Incidences of, and deaths from, brain tumours are increasing.

Please quote Brain Tumour Research as the source when using this information. Additional facts and statistics are available from our website including our latest Report on National Research Funding. We can also provide case-studies and research expertise for media.

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