Brother and sister to run London Marathon in memory of mum and dad

Esme and James Tuttiett.

Esme and James Tuttiett. - Credit: Archant

Siblings will unite this weekend to tackle the gruelling London Marathon in memory of their parents – who both died within weeks of being diagnosed with brain tumours.

Esme and James Tuttiett hope to raise awareness and money for The Brain Tumour Charity after parents Alison and Neil both died shortly after contracting the same strain of aggressive tumour.

Alison, a dietician at Southmead Hospital, died in 2001 less than five months after being diagnosed with a glioblastoma. She was just 42.

In 2017, Neil – the popular headteacher of St Andrew’s Primary School in Congresbury – learned he had also developed a glioblastoma and died six weeks later.

James, aged 30, said the siblings hope to use their ‘unique story’ to raise awareness and cash for the good cause.

He told the Mercury: “The likelihood of two parents of the same family contracting the same type of brain tumour is so minimal the surgeon from Southmead had never heard of this before.

“He could only find one other case on record.

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“We are determined to raise as much money as possible for this fantastic charity.

“More than 9,300 people are diagnosed with a brain tumour each year and brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of people under 40, yet less than two per cent of cancer research funding goes on brain tumours in the UK.”

The siblings have already raised more than £1,000 for the organisation after months of hard work in training.

James, who works across Asia, has been taking in the sights and sounds of Singapore, Shanghai and Hong Kong on his practice runs, while 24-year-old Esme – studying a PHD in nutrition at Sheffield University – has been tackling a tough training regime in the Peak District to prepare for the 26.2-mile race.

Geraldine Pipping, the charity’s head of fundraising, said: “We are extremely grateful for all the efforts made by these fantastic fundraisers and wish them all the very best.

“We rely on donations, so it’s only through the efforts of volunteers we can bring hope to the people who are diagnosed with a brain tumour every year.”

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