Luton worker with brain cancer inspires brother to tackle London Marathon

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“Adam’s diagnosis has brought us closer together”

A father-of-two has been inspired to take on the TCS London Marathon after his Luton Town fan brother was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour.

Graeme Dilley is training to run the iconic 26.2-mile race in aid of the charity Brain Tumour Research

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The 33-year-old – who completed the Berlin Marathon in 2019 – has been motivated to take on the challenge by his only brother, Adam’s, brain tumour fight.

Brothers Graeme and Adam Dilley with familyBrothers Graeme and Adam Dilley with family
Brothers Graeme and Adam Dilley with family
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He said: “After Berlin, I told myself, and my wife Fran, I’d never do another one but with all that’s happened with Adam and the support the charity has given him, I decided I needed to give something back.”

Adam Dilley was just weeks away from becoming a dad when, in October 2021, he was given the shocking news he had a glioblastoma (GBM) a highly aggressive form of brain cancer that has a devastatingly short prognosis of just 12-18 months.

His diagnosis came following a visit to Specsavers where an optician discovered a swelling behind his left eye. He had been suffering with severe headaches, jaw pain and blurred vision for many months, and had even been misdiagnosed with sinusitis.

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The 31-year-old – who works at GKN aerospace in Luton – underwent a craniotomy, which was filmed as part of the BBC 2 series Surgeons: At the Edge of Life.

He had several weeks of radiotherapy followed by months of chemotherapy and in December celebrated the arrival of son Alfie. Adam is now being monitored with regular MRI scans, the last of which showed that his tumour remained stable.

Graeme said: “Having run a marathon before, I know what I’m in for.

“My main concern is that my emotions will get the better of me on the day. I’m nervous about the adrenaline wearing off halfway around but otherwise, I’m feeling pretty good about it.”

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Graeme is hoping to complete the marathon in under four hours and hopes to see Adam among his supporters on the day.

He said: “In a way, Adam’s diagnosis has brought us closer together. It’s made us appreciate our relationship more and we’ve got kids a similar age now which, from a family perspective, is amazing. It’s great being able to share that journey with him.”