‘Best ever’ race to help brain charity

Fundraising 5 and 10K races in aid of the charity Neurocare took place at Rother Valley Country Park on Sunday (21 April 2013). Our picture shows the start of the 5K event.
Fundraising 5 and 10K races in aid of the charity Neurocare took place at Rother Valley Country Park on Sunday (21 April 2013). Our picture shows the start of the 5K event.
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Grateful patients thanked a life-saving brain charity by stepping out in its ‘best-ever’ fundraising race.

More than 400 people crossed the finish line in the Head Start event in aid of Sheffield hospital charity Neurocare – almost double last year’s attendance.

A sea of supporters, family and friends filled Rother Valley Country Park for the emotional 5km and 10km runs.

One of the largest teams was backing Chris Gregory, of Birley, who has battled a benign then cancerous brain tumours.

The 34-year-old, who was dressed as a tiger for the run, said: “I’d do anything for Neurocare.

“The charity helped me out when I was in hospital having operations and I’ve taken part in this for three years.

“I finished my course of radiotherapy towards the end of last year and have been trying to train - I’m just so glad I can do this.”

Tears flowed and people embraced as they crossed the finish line.

Pauline Quinn, who made a miracle recovery after a type of stroke left her locked in her own body for nine months, inspired 40 supporters to come along.

They included Sheffield Wednesday footballer Anthony Gardner, and his brother Darren, who finished the 5km event in just 26 minutes – one of the first to complete it.

Chesterfield resident Pauline, aged 49, wiped away tears as she said: “This is a great event because it brings everyone together, it bonds you.

“We’ve had family come from all over the country to take part.”

The youngest person to cross the finish line was a six-week-old baby, carried by a parent, while others did so in wheelchairs, with walking sticks or prams.

Runners in fancy dress included a team of friends in dressing gowns, furry animals and a squad of Smurfs.

Sue Allen, of Ecclesall Road, Sheffield, said: “We are all friends and take part as Smurfs every year, because our friend Sarah Bevan had a type of brain haemorrhage. She was treated for it at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital.

“It’s brilliant, we try to do all the Neurocare events.”

Organisers hope the event will smash a target of about £11,500 to help fund life-saving equipment for neuro theatres at the Royal Hallamshire in Broomhill.

Emma Douglas, Neurocare head of fundraising, said: “It was fantastic, with our best-ever turnout and an incredible atmosphere.”