CHICHESTER firefighter Ben Goodridge has set himself a challenge that will truly put him to the test.
He is taking part in the charity Ironman Weekend in Tenby, Wales, from tomorrow to Sunday.
He wants to raise awareness and funds for The Brain Tumour Charity, after his young nephew, Alfie, was diagnosed with a rare cancer.
Ben explained: “My one-year-old nephew was diagnosed earlier this year with a rare stage three aggressive brain tumour.
“After undergoing multiple operations with a poor prognosis, he is now having to endure chemotherapy, which is scheduled to last the next three years.
“Obviously there’s not much we can do to help in these situations, but thought if could at least make other people more aware of the signs and symptoms then maybe others would recognise and receive treatment quicker.”
Ironman involves a 2.4-mile sea swim tomorrow, 112-mile bike ride on Saturday and finally a 26.2-marathon run on Sunday.
Ben wanted to complete a big challenge before he hits 40 in September, but admitted: “All of this will test me beyond what I have done before.”
He said Alfie had shown ‘unbelievable strength’, even managing the odd cheeky smile despite multiple procedures requiring general anaesthetics.
“At present the publication and advertising of detecting the warning signs of brain tumours is quite poor, meaning others like Alfie are misdiagnosed,” added Ben.
“Unfortunately, we do fall behind Europe in the early detection, and literally every day earlier it can be detected drastically improves the chance of survival.”
Childhood brain tumours are relatively rare, with around 500 children and young people in the UK diagnosed each year.
Ben said: “This means that in the majority of cases a child presenting with these symptoms will not be due to having a brain tumour.
“However, it is important to be aware of the symptoms, so you should always go to your doctor if you are at all concerned.”
Visit www.justgiving.com/BenGoodridge-2015 for more information.
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