PE teacher from Corby to run Edinburgh Marathon for Brain Tumour Research

He’s running it in memory of his uncle and for his aunt who has an inoperable tumour
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A PE teacher from Corby will run the Edinburgh Marathon next month in memory of his uncle, and for his aunt who is living with an inoperable brain tumour.

Jordan Chilton, 26, who is originally from Corby but now living in Stockwell, South West London, will be running the Edinburgh Marathon on Friday, May 26, in aid of the charity Brain Tumour Research.

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He said: “I ran the London Landmarks Half Marathon last April and remember thinking ‘I can’t believe I’ve got to double that for a full one’, but it has always been an ambition of mine.

Sarah Strachan with her son Jake, nephew Jordan and son KyleSarah Strachan with her son Jake, nephew Jordan and son Kyle
Sarah Strachan with her son Jake, nephew Jordan and son Kyle

“I’m really looking forward to completing it because the training at the moment is getting longer and longer. I’m putting a lot of time into it but I do enjoy being physically active. I think it’ll be an emotional day because of my reasons for doing it.”

He had planned to run the 26.2-mile race with his uncle, Nigel Strachan, who died of kidney cancer last July.

Jordan said: “Nigel got on a bit of a health kick and started running in 2021, about the same time that I also started running. I asked what his long-term goals were and he said to run a half-marathon and then, hopefully, a full one.

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“We talked of doing it together for charity and, as my aunt has a brain tumour, Brain Tumour Research was the obvious choice.

Nigel Strachan with his nephew Jordan ChiltonNigel Strachan with his nephew Jordan Chilton
Nigel Strachan with his nephew Jordan Chilton

“With Nigel passing last year, and him having inspired me so much, it seemed fitting to run this in his memory, and for my aunt who’s on her own now. I hope that one day research will be able to give her the answers she wants.”

Jordan’s aunt, Sarah Strachan, was diagnosed with a low-grade, inoperable meningioma in February 2018. She had struggled with her symptoms for years beforehand and had, at times, felt suicidal because she did not know what was wrong.

The mum-of-two, from Lowestoft, Suffolk, is unable to work and is often bedbound because she suffers from bouts of temporary paralysis. She also suffers from seizures and is having frequent scans whilst her medication is being reassessed.

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She said: “From 2010 to 2018 I was suffering with nausea, dizziness and headaches and I made countless trips to the doctor. In 2011, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and when I began having memory problems in 2014, that’s what was blamed. I was sleeping a lot, struggling to get through work and forgetting to take my medication.

Jordan Chilton with his aunt Sarah StrachanJordan Chilton with his aunt Sarah Strachan
Jordan Chilton with his aunt Sarah Strachan

“It was a constant battle with the doctors but eventually I was referred to the mental health team and put on antidepressants. I was suicidal because I knew that something was wrong and didn’t feel like anyone was listening.

“I gave up work in 2015 because I just couldn’t cope anymore. My headaches were relentless. By January 2018, I had become so forgetful that I got lost driving familiar routes and forgot to pick my kids up.

“My doctor did a memory test on me, which quickly showed the severity of my problem. He decided to send me for a brain scan and that revealed I had a 4.1cm by 1.9cm tumour on the left-hand side of my brain. Unfortunately, the position of it and the fact it’s connected to my brain stem means it can’t be operated on.”

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Sarah wears a seizure alarm and has carers visit three times daily. She said: “Before all this, I’d be out all the time, climbing mountains, exploring caves and walking through woods with the kids or on camping holidays and trips abroad. Now I can’t do much at all. I’m often bedbound and can’t do what I want to, although I still try to push myself.

“I know I’m not the mum I used to be. My boys do more for me than I do for them. They get me in and out of my wheelchair, help me to the toilet, clean the house and prepare our meals. I wish things could be different for us all.

“I want answers, it’s been six years since my brain tumour diagnosis and 16 years since my symptoms first started. I want someone to help me. I want to have some sort of life which doesn’t involve me being stuck inside my home every day.”

Jordan said: “Sarah and I have always been close. Her oldest son is only three years younger than me, so we grew up together. She was always the strong one, what she said went, and it took me years to understand this is how she is now because I didn’t realise the affect her tumour was having on her physically. It’s been quite a rollercoaster for her.”

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Jordan is hoping to raise at least £2,740, which is enough to sponsor a day of research at any of the charity’s four Centres of Excellence.

He said: “Sponsoring a day of research would mean the world to me and I know my aunt would love that and be very proud.”

Charlie Allsebrook, community development manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “Sarah’s sad story is a stark reminder of the indiscriminate nature of brain tumours, which can affect anyone at any time. Despite killing more children and adults under 40 than any other cancer, research into the disease remains woefully underfunded.

“We’re determined to change that but we can’t do it alone. We’re really grateful to Jordan for taking on this challenge for us and wish him the best of luck on race day. Together we will find a cure.”

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Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centres in the UK. It also campaigns for the Government and 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.

To support Jordan’s fundraising, visit his JustGiving page.

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