Lewes schoolboy’s month-long run to help find a cure for brain tumours

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A schoolboy from East Sussex is halfway through a month-long running challenge to find a cure for brain tumours after losing his grandfather and a close family friend to the disease.

Since he set off on Monday 1 July, Arthur Motley, 11, from Lewes has covered 20 out of his 60-mile target which he is on track to complete by the end of July, fundraising for the charity, Brain Tumour Research.

The Priory school pupil is using the challenge to remember family friend, Linda Goode, 51, who also lived in Lewes, six months after she died of brain cancer. The freelance PE teacher and school advisor was diagnosed with a glioblastoma (GBM) in October 2021 following problems with her speech.

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Despite surgery followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy, the cancer was too aggressive. Linda died 27 months after her diagnosis. She left behind three children and her husband, Phil.

Linda GoodeLinda Goode
Linda Goode

The youngster also lost his grandad-pops to the disease in 2013, Arthur was just one.

Arthur’s mum, Shelley, 43, said “There was no hesitation when he said he wanted to do it for Brain Tumour Research. After each run, he comes back full of energy and marks down the distance on a chart which is stuck to our fridge, always with a smile on his face. I am a very proud mum.”

The Priory School pupil, a scrum half for Lewes Rugby Football Club (LRFC) and midfielder for Ringmer Rovers Football Club, wanted to keep active during the summer break from rugby and football training.

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Shelley said: “Arthur planned everything himself. He suggested the total distance and worked out if he covers two miles each day he can finish his challenge within the month. He’s running before and after school and whenever there is a window of opportunity, especially with the wet weather we’ve been having.”

Arthur Motley running in the rain in JulyArthur Motley running in the rain in July
Arthur Motley running in the rain in July

In April 2022, Shelley alongside her husband Mike, hosted a family fun day at Lewes Rugby Club, which raised more than £3,000 for the charity.

Shelley, who was a nanny to Linda’s three children and is godmother to one, said: “My father-in-law, David, and Linda had different types of brain tumours. But David got to see his children grow up and even got to meet some of his grandchildren including Arthur. With Linda it was different. Although her cancer was very aggressive, she remained positive, and her light shone bright until the very end.”

She added: “We must do more to help keep families together and find treatments that are kinder for brain tumour patients. That starts with making sure there is adequate funding to research the disease.

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Charlie Allsebrook, community development manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: “The fact that Arthur and his family have experienced the loss of two people because of a brain tumour is devastating and is a reminder that brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age. Linda was a huge advocate and campaigner for the charity, and she has left an incredible legacy, paving hope for future generations who receive a brain tumour diagnosis, to help us find kinder treatments and eventually a cure for all types of brain tumours.

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. The charity is the driving force behind the call for a national annual spend of £35 million in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia.

To donate to Brain Tumour Research via Arthur’s fundraiser, please visit: www.justgiving.com/page/michael-motley-1719257716045

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