Clapham man completes four marathons in four weeks in honour of best friend battling brain tumour

1 min read

After his best friend was diagnosed with a brain tumour, one Clapham resident has completed the London Marathon to raise funds for research into the disease.

Joining tens of thousands of runners, Ben Griffiths, aged 30, was inspired to take part in the world’s biggest running event for the pioneering charity Brain Tumour Research after his best friend and cousin, Richard Greensmith, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in May 2015.

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 is part of a fundraising team that includes friends and family of Richard who are all taking part in events over the next year to raise money for Brain Tumour Research.

Last month Ben, Richard and three of Ben’s cousins took on a Jurassic Coast Challenge, which saw them complete three marathons in three days along the Dorset coastline.

Ben was one of 40,000 runners taking part in the event which was started by The Queen from the grounds of Windsor Castle. It was the 38th London Marathon to take place since the first on 29th March 1981.

Ben said: “Completing the London Marathon is such a personal achievement for me as it really is the race of all races. After our running challenge last month, I felt confident that I could do it. Though the weather did make it a bit more of a challenge! 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 best friends, but are also cousins. 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. Knowing I’ve helped raise nearly £13,000 so far for Brain Tumour Research is such a great feeling.”

The money Ben raises will go towards the pioneering charity Brain Tumour Research which funds a network of dedicated Centres of Excellence where scientists are focused on improving outcomes for patients and, ultimately, finding a cure.

Janice Wright, Community Fundraising Manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer – and more men under 45 than prostate cancer, yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.

“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 for Ben’s support and offer our congratulations to everyone who took part in this year’s event to raise money for charity.”

Make a donation to Brain Tumour Research via Richard’s JustGiving page.


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 have established a game-changing network of world-class Research Centres of Excellence in the UK. Embracing passionate member charities nationwide, over £6 million was raised towards research and support during 2017.

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 unprecedented success of our 2015 petition led to the 2016 Westminster Hall debate and Brain Tumour Research taking a leading role in the Government’s Task and Finish Working Group convened to tackle the historic underfunding for research with the report being published in 2018.

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 in the UK 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.

Back to Press