A HEREFORDSHIRE man is marking five years since his brain tumour surgery by running 13.1 miles across a desert.

Tom Parker from Ledbury was 27 when he was diagnosed with a pilocytic astrocytoma in 2019 after 12 hours of being violently sick.

He had a 10-hour operation at Southmead Hospital in Bristol to remove the golf ball-sized tumour which left him with partial sight loss.

Hereford Times: Tom Parker after undergoing surgeryTom Parker after undergoing surgery (Image: Brain Tumour Research)

Marking a milestone since surgery, Mr Parker who is now 32, is travelling to Jordan in the Middle East to tackle the Wadi Rum Half Marathon in aid of Brain Tumour Research.

Earlier this month, to mark Brain Tumour Awareness Month Mr Parker completed the Great Welsh Run in a time of 1:59.


Speaking of his desert dash taking place on Friday, May 24, Mr Parker said: “With temperatures around 30 degrees during the day, they often plummet by more than half during the night time on mostly gravel and sandy terrain; it’ll be a test on my physical and mental fitness.”

Mr Parker, who shares the same name as the late The Wanted popstar, who died of a glioblastoma in 2022 aged 33, said: “Sharing the same name as the popstar Tom Parker, watching his story unfold, it did hit me hard.

“I witnessed what he did for the brain tumour community, selflessly sharing his experience which made learning of his death incredibly heartbreaking. I’m proud to be able to continue a legacy he established.”

Hereford Times: Tom Parker in action (right)Tom Parker in action (right) (Image: Brain Tumour Research)

Louise Aubrey, community development manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: “Tom’s story is shocking although not unusual. Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age. We’re grateful to Tom for taking the time to share his diagnosis with us and wish him the best of luck with his desert dash.”

Brain Tumour Research charity is the driving force behind the call for a national annual spend of £35 million in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in the UK.

To donate to Brain Tumour Research via Mr Parker's challenge, please visit: www.justgiving.com/page/the-desert-dash-for-brain-tumour-research