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Dan Walker raises £4,600 for Queen Mary University brain tumour research in memory of best pal Darel Bryan

PUBLISHED: 14:25 30 April 2018 | UPDATED: 12:58 01 May 2018

Dan Walker with his London Marathon medal, raising £2,000 for medical research. Picture source: Brain Tumour Research charity

Dan Walker with his London Marathon medal, raising £2,000 for medical research. Picture source: Brain Tumour Research charity

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.

Best of pals... Dan with Darel Bryan before he died in February 2016. Picture source: Brain Tumour ResearchBest of pals... Dan with Darel Bryan before he died in February 2016. Picture source: Brain Tumour Research

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.

Natalie Overs placing tile on Wall of Hope at Queen Mary's University in Darel's memory. Picture source: Brain Tumour ResearchNatalie Overs placing tile on Wall of Hope at Queen Mary's University in Darel's memory. Picture source: Brain Tumour Research

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.”

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.”

Together... Darel and partner Natalie Overs, 34, who set up the Darel Bryan Foundation after he passed away. Picture source: Brain Tumour ResearchTogether... Darel and partner Natalie Overs, 34, who set up the Darel Bryan Foundation after he passed away. Picture source: Brain Tumour Research

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.

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