Diss couple take on London Marathon after both mothers diagnosed with brain tumours

Diss, Norfolk. Andrew and Steph Callen doing London Marathon for Brain Research Trust. ANL-140324-132421001
Diss, Norfolk. Andrew and Steph Callen doing London Marathon for Brain Research Trust. ANL-140324-132421001

A Diss couple whose mothers have both been diagnosed with brain tumours will take on this year’s London Marathon to raise money for research into the condition.

Andrew and Steph Callen, of Bellacre Close, have been inspired to pound the streets of the capital for the Brain Research Trust

Mr Callen’s mother Ann underwent surgery to remove a brain tumour about 20 years ago, while Steph’s mother Lorraine has lived with a benign - but inoperable - tumour for almost ten years.

Mrs Callen, 27, who works at Norwich High School, said: “Hearing the words ‘brain tumour’ is incredibly scary.

“Luckily Ann went on to make a full recovery from her surgery, and while my mum has to cope with the symptoms which come from having something in your head which frankly shouldn’t be there, she has access to fantastic scanning and testing facilities, treatments and the support - much of which has been pioneered thanks to the work of charities such as the Brain Research Trust - which help her to live a normal and happy life.”

Mr Callen, 30, who works at Diss-based audio-visual distributor Midwich, added: “Brain tumours are the biggest killer of children and adults under 40-years-old.

“In hindsight, we appreciate how lucky my mum and Lorraine were with their diagnoses but at the same time realise that many people are less fortunate. So we’re not just dedicating our efforts to them, but to all families who have been affected by brain tumours.”

This is the first time they have tackled any kind of long distance run, let alone the full marathon distance of 26 miles. It takes place next Sunday, April 13.

They will be doing some early fundraising on Saturday too.

The couple will be doing a street collection in Mere Street where they will be seeing how far they can ‘travel’ on an exercise bike positioned in the street, between 9am and 4pm.

Passersby will be able to support by throwing a few coins in a charity bucket.

Mrs Callen said: “It’s something we have both wanted to do for some time and it’s lovely that we’re going to be able to experience our first London Marathon together. It has certainly made the training that bit easier knowing he is going through the same pain as me! Crossing the finish line together with our mums cheering us on will be a great moment.”

To sponsor Mr and Mrs Callen, visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/teamcallen