Brain tumour tragedy inspires sisters’ London Marathon challenge

Carrie Holbrook and Donna White ran the London Marathon for a brain tumour charity

Carrie Holbrook and Donna White ran the London Marathon for a brain tumour charity - Credit: Archant

Great Paxton mum Carrie Holbrook completed the London Marathon in memory of her husband Steve who died from a brain tumour.

Carrie, aged 39, took part in the iconic event on April 28 with her sister Donna White, from Glossop, Derbyshire, and the pair raised more than £7,000 for the Brain Tumour Research charity.

Carrie's husband Steve served as an officer with Bedfordshire Police for 15 years and passed away in November 2016.

Devastated at Steve's loss, Carrie and Donna vowed to help fund the fight against the disease which kills more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer.

Steve's death came after a 21-month battle with a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain tumour. He died aged 37, leaving his wife and two children Emma, now nine, and Mason, six.

Carrie, a senior active lifestyle officer for Cambridge City Council and Donna, a therapeutic radiographer working for the NHS in Sheffield, were delighted to complete their marathon challenge in times of 05:50:55 and 05:50:54 respectively.

Carrie said: "Completing my first marathon was one of the toughest challenges I have ever faced but I was determined to cross the finish line. The atmosphere on the day was incredible and that spurred me on along the way.

Most Read

"We had the most amazing support from family and friends and I'm thankful that they helped us surpass our target of £6,000 to help fund vital research into brain tumours.

"Steve's diagnosis came as an awful shock to us all. Brain Tumour Research is a charity close to our hearts and I hope that as well as fundraising, we help to raise awareness of this dreadful disease."

Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centres of excellence in the UK; it also campaigns for the Government and the larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours in order to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure. The charity is calling for an annual spend of £35m in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia.

Paula Rastrick, community fundraising manager for Brain Tumour Research in the central region said: "We are very grateful for Carrie and Donna's support and congratulate them on completing the London Marathon. Steve's story reminds us that brain tumours are indiscriminate and they can affect anyone at any age; we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue."

INFO: To sponsor Carrie and Donna, go to:

Key statistics on brain tumours:

Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age

Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer

Historically, just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to brain tumours

In the UK, 16,000 people each year are diagnosed with a brain tumour

Brain tumours kill more children than leukaemia

Brain tumours kill more men under 45 than prostate cancer

Brain tumours kill more women under 35 than breast cancer

Less than 20 per cent of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50 per cent across all cancers

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