A Rothwell runner has raised £7,500 in memory of one of the town’s best-loved characters.
Sean Connolly took part in the half-marathon Santa Run at Stanwick Lakes at the weekend in memory of Alan Mills, who had been a Rothwell and Kettering councillor and mayor of Rothwell before he died of a brain tumour in July 2016.
Alan - a successful musician and member of Coast to Coast - lived with his wife Karen next door to Sean Connolly’s shop, The Northampton Grocer, in the High Street and would come in to buy his weekly fruit and vegetables.
Since losing his friend, Sean has been supporting the Brain Tumour Research charity to help find a cure for brain tumours which kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet historically just one per cent of the national cancer spend has been allocated the to disease.
Sean has averaged a half-marathon each month this year and also completed the Berlin marathon in September and the London Marathon last year.
Sean said: “Over the last two years since I started this amazing and very emotional journey, we have put on various fundraising events and activities and I have constantly pushed the limits as to what I can achieve. We have raised more than £7,500 for Brain Tumour Research in Alan’s memory and I would really like to get the total to £8,000 before the end of the year.
“Alan worked tirelessly for the people of Rothwell and the wider community. He was the town bailiff and a town and borough councillor, always putting the needs of others before his own. He was also always willing to help others with their various charitable activities.”
Alan, who owned his own stonemasonry company, had been a Rothwell councillor and mayor and was due to become mayor of Kettering but sadly died before he could be elected to the role.
When he fell ill, he made huge lifestyle changes that his family said kept him alive for longer.
Sean said: “I remember him asking me if I had more pomegranates as his doctor had recommended their health benefits.
“That’s when he told me about his brain tumour and that he had been advised to eat healthier food.
“It was an honour to know Alan and great that I have got to know his family too. I have already applied to do the Berlin Marathon again next year and am hoping to get a place in the New York Marathon too, so the fundraising continues! Please help by donating whatever you can. Together we will find a cure.”
Paula Rastrick, community fundraising manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “For too long brain tumours have been a neglected cancer. Sean is helping us to fund research into brain tumours at our dedicated centres. We are very grateful to him for his support, as well as to all who have donated inspired by Alan and Sean.”
Money raised for Brain Tumour Research will help fund dedicated UK Research Centres of Excellence where scientists are focused on improving outcomes for patients and, ultimately, finding a cure.
You can add to Sean’s fundraising drive here.