Tom’s desert dash to help find a cure

2 min read

A brain tumour patient is marking five years since his surgery by tackling a half marathon challenge in the blistering desert heat.

Tom Parker, from Ledbury, Herefordshire, was 27 when he was diagnosed with a pilocytic astrocytoma in 2019. He had a 10-hour operation to remove the golf ball-sized tumour which left him with partial sight loss in both eyes. He is now monitored with regular scans.

A collage of Tom Parker's scar photos

Now Tom and his partner Jo (pictured below) are preparing to travel 3,200 miles to Jordan where they will take on the Wadi Rum Half Marathon on Friday 24th May to raise funds for Brain Tumour Research to mark the fifth anniversary of Tom’s surgery.

He said: “With temperatures around 30 degrees during the day, they often plumet by more than half during the night on mostly gravel and sandy terrain; it’ll be a test of my physical and mental fitness.”

Tom and Jo during the Great Welsh Run for Brain Tumour Research

It’s not Tom’s first fundraising endeavour. In 2021, he took on our Jog 26 Miles in May challenge and last month he completed the Great Welsh Run (pictured top), crossing the finish line in a time of 1:59:00.

Tom, who shares the same name as the late The Wanted popstar, who died of a glioblastoma (GBM) in 2022, aged 33, said: “Sharing the same name as the popstar Tom Parker, watching his story unfold, it did hit me hard. I already had my operation by the time I read about Tom’s story. We were similar ages, and it was tough to comprehend we were both so young when we were diagnosed with brain tumours.

“I witnessed what he did for the brain tumour community, selflessly sharing his experience which made learning of his death incredibly heartbreaking. I’m proud to be able to continue a legacy he established.”

Tom has already raised nearly £2,000 to beat his fundraising target. To support his desert dash, please donate via his JustGiving page:

And if you’re tempted to take on your own desert challenge, check out our Trek Sahara 2025 by clicking here.

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