Dad’s brave little girl inspire Brighton Marathon bid

Grant Tester and his little girl Poppy, 11 'L03743H15
Grant Tester and his little girl Poppy, 11 'L03743H15

A FATHER whose little girl survived a brain tumour will push his body to the limit when he takes on the Brighton Marathon.

Littlehampton man Grant Tester, of Selborne Road, will be running the marathon to raise vital funds for Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice, in Poling.

The father-of-three is using his daughter Poppy’s story as his inspiration to conquer the epic feat of endurance on April 12.

Grant said: “When we first received the news of Poppy’s brain tumour, we were completely numb. Fortunately for us, Poppy was treated very quickly and has made a rapid recovery.

“Knowing that there are children that are less fortunate than Poppy, living with life-limiting illnesses, I knew I had to offer something back as it could have been us needing the invaluable services that Chestnut Tree House provides.”

Poppy was first taken to the doctors in 2012 as she kept having absences and episodes of memory loss.

The GP referred her to hospital and she was quickly diagnosed with epilepsy and sent for an MRI scan. They then faxed the findings to King’s College Hospital, in London, for clarification.

The family met with a doctor a week later who explained that Poppy had a brain tumour,

Three weeks after the shock diagnosis, Poppy had a successful operation removing most of the tumour.

Now 11, she still receives regular checks every few months to check the remaining part of the tumour is not growing.

After the diagnosis, Grant undertook his first 10k for Chestnut Tree House and last year completed the Brighton Half Marathon.

He added: “I picked Chestnut Tree because it is a fantastic charity that helps people in really the most desperate need of help and relief. With three children, I try to imagine how I would feel if we ever needed the help from them and be in the situation that they are in, it really is every parents’ worse nightmare. It is also clear that the team there work relentlessly to raise funds putting on events such as the 10k seafront run and I just wish more people would get involved to make their work even more worthwhile.”

However, Grant said he is apprehensive about the daunting prospect of running the 26.2-mile course.

“My training is currently on plan; I only started again just before Christmas.

“I hadn’t done any running since the Brighton Half Marathon in February last year so it was a bit of a struggle to get back into the swing of things,” he said. “It is also hard to motivate yourself to do a run when you get home from work when it is wet and dark and the last thing you want to do is go for a run.”

Grant aims to raise £700 for the hospice. To sponsor him, see here.

To join Chestnut Tree House’s marathon team, see the charity’s website.