Son of terminally ill doctor takes to seas

Matthew Velamail with friend Tim Brownell who are taking part in 24 hour sailing mission to raise money for Brain Tumour Research

Matthew Velamail with friend Tim Brownell who are taking part in 24 hour sailing mission to raise money for Brain Tumour Research

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A SEAFARING son and his best friend will be taking to the water for a whopping 24 hours to raise money for research into brain tumours.

Matthew Velamail and Tim Brownell are taking part in the 24-hour race in Southport on board their Enterprise dinghy.

Sailors taking on the course normally compete using a relay system - but Matthew and Tim will stay on board the whole time.

The 20-year-olds, both members of Ulley Sailing Club in Rotherham, will be raising money for Brain Tumour Research in honour of Matthew’s dad Dr Vetrivel Velamail who has now received all the treatment he can for a brain tumour with which he was diagnosed in 2009.

Matthew said: “There will be 70 teams from across the country taking part. Normally it works with people swapping over every couple of hours, having a rest, and then going back to it.

“But me and Tim will be doing the whole thing ourselves - which should be quite a challenge!

“We’ve been training hard and we are looking forward to it and feeling quite confident. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but now I’m even more determined because I have such a purpose by doing it in aid of Brain Tumour Research.”

The family of Dr Velamail, a former GP at Morthen Road Surgery in Rotherham, first noticed something might be wrong in the summer of 2009 when his mood altered and his vision began to deteriorate.

A CT scan revealed the devastating news he was suffering from a brain tumour. The 50-year-old, also dad to Thomas, 16, and Katy, 14, said: “My life and my family’s life came tumbling down that day.”

A later MRI scan revealed the tumour had continued to progress despite treatment.

The doctor, who has arranged for a post-mortem examination of his brain after his death to help research, said: “I do know there is no further treatment available.

“I am getting weaker and I know I cannot be helped - but there must surely be a cure for future generations.”

Visit www.justgiving.com/Mattim24hour to sponsor the lads in their mission, over the weekend of September 10 and 11.

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