Sheffield boy who endured brain surgery gets set for race

runnerBS''Jo Orpwood and his school friends Sam Light (left) and Lewis Helas (right) are gearing up for the Neurocare Head Start.
runnerBS''Jo Orpwood and his school friends Sam Light (left) and Lewis Helas (right) are gearing up for the Neurocare Head Start.
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TEENAGER Jo Orpwood has had a tough few years.

The 13-year-old has battled three brain tumours, and undergone 13 operations at Weston Park and Sheffield Children’s hospitals.

But now he’s getting better he is hoping to inspire his school friends, family and runners of all abilities to go the extra mile for charity, by taking part in the Head Start 5km challenge this Sunday.

Jo said: “My head has a few bumps and dints but I feel fine now, and this is my way of thanking Neurocare.

“I hope I can encourage other people to take part. Despite having a brain tumour, nothing can stop me.”

Jo was diagnosed with three benign brain tumours in 2007 and had surgery in 2010 with specialist gamma knife equipment funded by Neurocare.

Surgery and radiotherapy have now successfully shrunken his tumours.

“I’ve been training by running around different parks in Sheffield with my best friends which has been fun,” he said.

“I’m not very sporty but running is a really good hobby. I wanted to do this for Neurocare because they have been so helpful to me and so many other people.

“They are like the Father Christmas of the medical world - surgeons ask for equipment and Neurocare helps provide it for them.”

Jo was encouraged to take part in Head Start by Rob Creasey, a mentor at his school, Silverdale, following a special assembly hosted by the charity.

His mum Kate, dad Neil and sister Elizabeth, 11, will be cheering him on.

Kate said: “Jo has been astonishingly brave and I’m so proud of him. You read so many negative stories about people with brain tumours that it’s important for people to read positive, hopeful experiences.”

There are still spaces for the run at Rother Valley Country Park. Calling 0114 267 6464.