It's a long way back to Lytham, as two colleagues run home from work at BAE Samlesbury to raise funds for Brainstrust in memory of their friend who died of a brain tumour

Stu Dolphin
Stu Dolphin
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Two friends will run 26 miles from their workplace in Samlesbury to their home in Lytham in memory of their colleague Stu Dolphin, who died of a brain tumour earlier this year.

Two men have raised more than £6,000 for a brain tumour charity in honour of their good friend Stu Dolphin, who died two months ago.

Stu Dolphin, of Bamber Bridge, who died of a brain tumour, with his wife Alexandra'Beth Faulder Photography

Stu Dolphin, of Bamber Bridge, who died of a brain tumour, with his wife Alexandra'Beth Faulder Photography

When Stu was diagnosed with a brain tumour last year, his friends rallied round to raise funds for Brainstrust, with Chris Blower and Dave Kerfoot promising to run 26 miles home from their workplace, BAE, in Samlesbury.

Stu, of Bamber Bridge, died on May 19, before the pair were able to attempt their challenge, which will take place on July 12.

So now they are even more determined to raise as much money as they can.

Chris, of Lytham, says: “In August 2018, just less than a year after marrying his long term partner Alex, Stu suddenly became very ill with dizzy spells and headaches and he began getting his words confused.

Chris Blower, of Lytham

Chris Blower, of Lytham

“Scans revealed he had a brain tumour and he was immediately put on steroids to reduce the swelling on his brain.

“He underwent surgery to remove as much of the tumour as possible and was given a diagnosis of a grade four glioblastoma - the most aggressive form of brain cancer.

“Stu received a prognosis of 12-18 months but his optimistic approach to life meant that he remained positive and continued to live his life to the full.

“Stu spent every day at hospital for the next six weeks. He received a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The hope was that the treatment would slow down the growth of the tumour.

“In November, Stu spent his 30th birthday in Budapest following a short break from his treatment. Almost immediately after he returned home, he started having more headaches and as such his steroids were increased.

“Another scan was scheduled for just after Christmas, and in January Stu received news that the tumour had grown again.

“More surgery followed but this time Stu did not recover as well as he did previously, becoming very unwell with an infection, which he eventually fought off. The removal of the tumour had also affected his speech, leaving Stu struggling to find the right words.

“Brain tumours have a dramatic impact on the quality of life of those affected.

“Before his diagnosis, Stu was most happy on the football pitch, playing golf, watching his beloved Preston North End, going to the gym or walking his dog. He worked hard for his career at BAE Systems, and enjoyed his job as project manager.

“Stu found that his diagnosis left him with physical differences such as mobility problems, fatigue, epileptic seizures, weight gain and hair loss.

“Besides this, he lost his driving licence, was unable to work, spent less time with friends, was unable to play sport and lived in a world of uncertainty. Stu received support from family, friends and NHS staff, as well as The Brainstrust, which is why we want to raise funds.

“Brainstrust charity campaigns for better understanding of brain tumours, helps people feel less isolated, provides NHS accredited information to help people with a diagnosis become stronger, and more resilient. The charity help people get back on their feet as soon as possible, and they support research to improve people’s quality of life.”

Stu’s wife, Alex adds: “I would like to say a massive thank you to Chris and Dave for choosing to raise awareness of brain tumours and Brainstrust. It means a lot that more awareness is raised of this terrible disease.

“It is overwhelming how much money has been raised and how many people have sponsored them.

“It is a testament to Stu’s character how many people want to show their support and help raise funds.”

To support Chris and Dave visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/cblower
A brain tumour is a growth of cells in the brain that multiplies in an abnormal, uncontrollable way. It can either be cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous (benign).

Brain tumours are graded from 1 to 4 according to their behaviour, such as how fast they grow and how likely they are to grow back after treatment.

The symptoms of a brain tumour vary depending on the exact part of the brain that’s affected. Common symptoms include:

Severe, persistent headaches; seizures (fits); persistent nausea, vomiting and drowsiness; mental or behavioural changes, such as memory problems or changes in personality; progressive weakness or paralysis on one side of the body, vision problems, or speech problems

Brainstrust campaigns for better understanding of brain tumours and provides support through helplines and meet ups.