Surgeon Completes 250km Sahara Marathon for Brain Tumour Charity

Photo by matt mr on Unsplash

A surgeon has completed what is hailed as ‘the toughest footrace on Earth’ to raise funds for a charity that helps children with brain tumours.

James Tysome, from Cambridgeshire, is a consultant ENT and skull base surgeon at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, who spent six gruelling days battling over 250kms of sand dunes, rocks, and salt plains, all to raise money and awareness for the children’s brain tumour charity Tom’s Trust.

He faced hostile conditions including temperatures of 55 degrees centigrade and a sandstorm during the world-famous Marathon des Sables, across the Sahara Desert.

Running conditions are extremely challenging, with a huge number of runners dropping out on day three.

James has smashed his target of £3,000 to raise over £5,200, which will ensure five families receive the mental health care they need after a brain tumour diagnosis.

James said: “The Marathon des Sables was an incredible race. 250km across the Sahara desert in six stages through epic scenery with strong camaraderie between the 1,000 runners.

“Conditions were more difficult than usual as there was a heat wave with temperatures up to 55°C, which made running through sand dunes hard work and resulted in 30 per cent of runners dropping out over the course of the week.

“I was pleased to make it through to finish the race and to have the opportunity to raise money for Tom’s Trust as the suffering in the desert cannot compare to the difficulties faced by children with brain tumours and their families.”

Tom’s Trust is the only UK charity dedicated to providing psychological support for children with brain tumours. They aim to challenge the way people prioritise mental health and provide children with instant access to a psychologist at the point of diagnosis.

Debs Mitchell, Co-Founder of Tom’s Trust, added: “We are blown away by James and everything he’s done for the children we support here at Tom’s Trust.

We can’t even imagine how difficult it must have been for James to push through the race under those conditions. We simply can’t thank him enough for choosing to fundraise for us.”

There is still time to donate by visiting James’ fundraising website.