Bereaved dad running the Tokyo marathon for ‘Little Frank’

2 min read

A father of four is kick-starting a year of running challenges in memory of his teenage son who died from a brain tumour “because no parent should have to go through the pain of losing a child”.

Frank Lee, 43, from Royal Wooton Bassett, is taking on the Tokyo Marathon today (Sunday 3rd March) alongside his friend David Moss, to raise thousands of pounds for Brain Tumour Research.

Frank began running as a way of dealing with the grief of losing his teenage son, Frank James – known as Little Frank – who died from a glioblastoma (GBM) in July 2019. He was just 15.

The sports-loving teen had been complaining of nausea and severe headaches before his father found him unconscious in his bedroom following a seizure. A scan revealed a mass on the then 13-year-old’s brain.

Despite two operations followed by radiotherapy and a year of chemotherapy treatment, the cancer grew once again.

Frank said: “There was nowehere else to turn, the standard treatment that comes with a cancer diagnosis didn’t work. We looked for a clinical trial but we couldn’t find anything to save our boy.”

Last year, Frank completed his first two marathons, in London and Berlin, raising more than £15,000 together with relatives who form a running group called ‘Team Breed’.

He said: “Little Frank was courageous and so strong throughout his diagnosis and that has helped keep me driven to want to do everything I can to stop this disease from taking the lives of anyone, especially children who have so much ahead of them.”

After Tokyo, Frank plans to run the Chicago Marathon in October and the New York Marathon in November.

He added: “Frank is always on my mind when I’m running. When I’m struggling with those last few miles I think of the person running behind me, who can see Frank’s name on the back of my t-shirt, and it spurs me over the finish line.”

To donate to Brain Tumour Research via Frank's fundraiser, visit:

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