Of the thousands of runners expected to run the JCP Swansea Half Marathon on 26th June 2016, many will be running to raise money for causes close to their hearts. The race’s headline Charity Partner Cancer Research UK will be welcoming many runners who have been affected by cancer, including 33-year-old David Madden from Swansea who has defied all odds to survive a life-threatening brain tumour.
Not only has David survived cancer after being told as a teenager that he had just one week to live, but he is training hard to run his first ever half marathon in Swansea this summer. He wanted to share his story in the hope of inspiring others to get involved – be it to enter the race too, volunteer at the event or simply provide welcome encouragement on race day.
David lives in Three Crosses and is hoping to complete the half marathon in 1 hour 50 minutes.
David’s story starts at the age of 18, when he visited his doctor with flu-like symptoms and pressure behind the eyes. To his disbelief, what he thought was a routine illness revealed itself to be a large brain tumour, so severe that he was given just one week to live. He began a course of intensive treatment, but the tumour did not respond to drainage, large doses of steroids or radiotherapy. Instead, it doubled in size, David put on six stone due to the medication and his condition worsened. He was finally admitted for major brain surgery at Bristol hospital as a very sick 19-year-old and this procedure, thankfully, was successful.
“I have a large scar on the right side of my head and still to this day I have yearly head scans at Heath Hospital in Cardiff, but apart from that I’m fine and very lucky to be alive”, says Madden.
“So, after being told I had a week to live, I am now a healthy, happy 33-year-old married man running the JCP Swansea Half Marathon.”
“I am hoping to raise £500 for Cancer Research UK. I have never done anything like this before, but I’m going to give it my best shot.”
Claudia Ratcliffe from Cancer Research UK commented: “David has always been really healthy, having played football to a good standard before he fell ill. It’s the first time he has done a challenge like this, and he is nervous but excited to complete it.”
David’s training regime includes running along the Mumbles stretch of the course every chance he gets, making the most of the fantastic views the race will offer. Covering a magnificent six-mile stretch of Swansea Bay towards The Mumbles, with its iconic pier and lighthouse, the JCP Swansea Half Marathon is quickly earning itself a reputation as a road race with one of the most scenic coastal routes, as well as a flat and fast 13.1 mile course.
A record field of 8,000 runners is expected at the third JCP Swansea Half Marathon this summer, making it Wales’ second largest half marathon.
The event was the runner up in the Best Half Marathon category at The 2016 Running Awards in association with JustGiving after having been shortlisted for the second consecutive year, and it is now officially the second best half marathon in the UK and the best half marathon in Wales.
Very best of luck to David, and if you are inspired to run for Cancer Research UK at this year’s JCP Swansea Half Marathon you can apply here. You can also support David on his half marathon journey by making a donation here https://www.justgiving.com/David-Madden5