Dan Walker raises £4,600 for Queen Mary University brain tumour research in memory of best pal Darel Bryan
- Credit: Brain Tumour Research
Daniel Walker has raised £4,600 in the London Marathon in memory of his best friend who died from a brain tumour.
The 32-year-old business manager from Old Ford Road in Bow did it in under five-and-a-half hours to raise money for the Brain Tumour Research charity which funds Queen Mary University’s Whitechapel research centre.
His friend Darel Bryan was a healthy 33-year-old when he was diagnosed two years ago with aggressive brain tumours
“It was a big shock, “Dan said. “We often spoke about what our weddings and stag nights would be like. It was heart-breaking realising there were so little treatment available.”
Darel, a housing officer from Bow and a keen East London FC footballer in the Hackney & Leyton Sunday league, was always fit before being diagnosed after having a seizure at work.
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The two were best friends. So are Dan’s girlfriend Kiri Ward, 30, and Darel’s partner Natalie Overs, 34, who set up the Darel Bryan Foundation under the umbrella of the charity to raise funds for research.
“We jokingly called ourselves ‘the Dream Team’,” Dan added. “We got together for dinner dates and even went on holidays together.”
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Dan, Kiri and Natalie were regularly at Darel’s hospital bedside during the 15 months he battled with brain cancer and his last few weeks at St Joseph’s hospice in South Hackney.
Natalie recalled: “Darel endured six weeks of radiotherapy, 12 months of chemotherapy, two surgeries, five months in hospital and every alternative and natural treatment we could lay our hands on. But his battle was never one he was going to win.”
Her Darel Bryan Foundation has raised £100,000 so far for Queen Mary’s research.
Brain tumours hit more men under 45 than prostate cancer, the Brain Tumour Research charity points out, yet only one per cent of the national funding for research goes on brain tumours.
Thew charity’s Michael Thelwall said: “Brain tumours have been a neglected cancer. Experiences like Darel’s remind us that we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue.”
Wellwishers can still donate to Dan’s online JustGiving page which aims for a £3,500 target.