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Islander with brain tumour awarded for inspirational fundraising

Islander with brain tumour awarded for inspirational fundraising

Tuesday 19 September 2023

Islander with brain tumour awarded for inspirational fundraising

Tuesday 19 September 2023

An islander who underwent double brain surgery last year has been chosen for an Inspire award after having raised over £1,000 for charity.

Ryan O’Shea (27), a keen sportsman and former Island Games medal winner, is currently training for the Royal Parks Half Marathon on 8 October, which will be his second half marathon and his first not in the island.

He is running it in aid of The Brain Tumour Charity, which is the largest dedicated funder of research into brain tumours globally. It sets out to find new treatments and drive urgent change for those with the condition.

He chose it because their research could find a treatment for his specific kind of tumour, which could not be fully removed.

Mr O'Shea has surpassed his initial fundraising target of £450 and has now raised more than £1,000.

The Royal Parks Half has also chosen him as one of its five 'Inspire' runners and shared his story on their website.

Mr O'Shea said it was "pretty amazing" to be recognised by race organisers and to be nominated for the award by The Brain Tumour Charity.

As part of the award, he receives a VIP lunch, help to spread his cause and raise funds, and a prime spot on the start line.

He said: "I'm not too sure about the start line position, and it won't take long to get overtaken, I'm sure."

"But it's good to get my story out there, because I want people to know that tumours like this can happen to anyone at any age. I want people to know that if they've got the symptoms, don't ignore them. If I knew earlier, maybe I would have acted earlier."

Only when his speech started to stutter and his memory to decline in April 2022 did Ryan go to the doctor.

A series of scans, emergency appointments, and surgeries revealed that he had Grade 1 diffuse astrocytoma – a slow-growing type of brain tumour.

In his return to work post-surgery earlier this year, he was supported with counselling provided by The Jersey Brain Tumour Charity – whom he raised funds for by completing the Island Walk in 17 hours 45 minutes and 11 seconds, unknowingly while suffering from a virus.

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