BY TOBY PORTER
A Croydon dad tackled a 100-mile cycling challenge to help fund the fight against the disease that killed his sister.
Reuben Turner, 54, chipped in for charity to take part in Prudential RideLondon-Surrey – a ride around London and the Surrey countryside on Sunday.
He raised more than £700 for the charity Brain Tumour Research, motivated by the death of his sister Marilyn Reardon, of Bromley.
Marilyn, a senior research director at Join The Dots, a market research company, was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour in March 2018.
She underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy but died just a year later, aged 52, leaving her husband John, her three sons and two step children.
Five months on from Marilyn’s death, Reuben joined 25,000 cyclists at Prudential RideLondon-Surrey, described as “the world’s greatest festival of cycling”.
He set off from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London, before heading through the capital and out into the Surrey countryside and finishing on The Mall.
Dad-of-two Reuben, a network engineer, said: “Marilyn was an amazing sister; kind, positive and lovely. She was the youngest of eight siblings and was held in high regard as a senior research director.
Her diagnosis with a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) came as a complete shock, as she hadn’t been suffering from the typical symptoms I expected a brain tumour patient to experience. She felt ill for some time, was frequently sick and lost her appetite.
“In Marilyn’s memory, our friends and family members have helped to raise more than £6,800 for Brain Tumour Research, and I wanted to do my bit to show my support. I was proud to raise more than £700 by completing RideLondon.
“The challenge was particularly poignant as I hoped that Marilyn would be there to see me cross the finish line.
When I told her that I would be taking part in RideLondon, she was over the moon and was desperate to support me on the day. I’m feeling very raw and am still coming to terms with her death.”
Janice Wright, community fundraising manager for Brain Tumour Research in London, said: “We congratulate Reuben for completing RideLondon and we hope he inspires others to take on a fundraising event for Brain Tumour Research.
“Marilyn’s story reminds us less than 20 per cent of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years, compared with an average of 50 per cent across all cancers. We cannot allow this devastating situation to continue.”
Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centres in the UK; it also campaigns for the Government and the 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 calling for an annual spend of £35m in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia, and is also campaigning for greater repurposing of drugs.
To donate to Reuben’s JustGiving page go to https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ReubenTurner
To apply for a place on the Brain Tumour Research RideLondon 2020 team, go to https://bit.ly/2KrmirH