A WINCHESTER man, who recently completed 15 months of cancer treatment, finished the London Marathon last weekend to help find a cure for brain tumours.

Dan Walker has undergone surgery and treatment for thyroid cancer over the last 15 months and had just eight weeks to train for the London Marathon.

Dan ran the marathon, for the second time, in memory of his friend Darel Bryan, to raise funds for the charity Brain Tumour Research.

He finished in five hours and 30 mins. He said: “I can’t believe I actually made it. It’s the hardest thing I’ve every physically done, but it was for an amazing person, my man Darel Bryan. I enjoyed every second remembering him and how special he was to me.

“Thank you again for all the donations and support. It really did help me get across that line. Everyone of my friends and family who donated, you all have a very special place in my heart.”

Darel died in 2016, aged 34, after being diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, (GBM) which is an extremely aggressive type of brain tumour.

Just a few weeks before the first national lockdown in March 2020, Dan learnt he had thyroid cancer.

He underwent various surgical procedures, including having both thyroids removed.

Because of Covid-19 and being so vulnerable, Dan had to self-isolate and was unable to see any of his family for many months.

Dan, who works in marketing and recruitment, said before the event: “I needed a goal and training for the London Marathon has been just the ticket. I followed an eight-week training programme and have completed runs of up to 16 miles.

“Doing my training around Winchester, running by the river and up over St Catherine’s Hill, I have been thinking a lot about Darel.

“Sadly, as I was shocked to learn when Darel was going through his battle, for brain tumours this is not the case with 88% of brain tumour patients dying within five years of diagnosis.”

Darel’s partner, Natalie Overs, set up The Darel Bryan Foundation which has raised around £200,000 for Brain Tumour Research.

Natalie said: “Dan is an absolute hero and champion fundraiser. I can’t believe that despite suffering his own battle with thyroid cancer, he is still thinking of Darel and taking on this incredible challenge once again.”

Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centres in the UK.

The charity is calling for a national annual spend of £35 million in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes and is also campaigning for greater repurposing of drugs.

Dan has raised over £3,000 so far. You can still donate by visiting: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/daniel-walker47.