A DETERMINED mother from Flintshire has challenged herself to run this year's London marathon for a cause close to her heart.

Catherine Kelly from Holywell is taking part in the London Marathon 2024 after her son was previously diagnosed with a devastating brain tumour.

Edward was diagnosed with an aggressive Medulloblastoma Brain Tumour and obstructive Hydrocephalus in October 2018 a few weeks after he turned 3-years-old. 

The Leader: Edward KellyEdward Kelly (Image: Catherine Kelly)

With no signs of being poorly except being a little off-balance, the family arranged for an NHS scan due to a feeling that something wasn't quite right.

Glan Clwyd Hospital carried out the MRI scan which revealed a tumour the size of an orange.

Edward went on to have surgery at Alder Hey and during her son's chemotherapy, Catherine vowed to do everything she could to raise awareness when Edward was better.

She said: "I sat and watched the 2019 London marathon on the TV one afternoon while he slept and I made a promise that I would one day run the marathon and raise vital funds to help the very people who dedicate their lives to finding a cure for brain tumours.  

The Leader: Mum Catherine, Edward (8), Dylan (10) and Edith (6)Mum Catherine, Edward (8), Dylan (10) and Edith (6) (Image: Catherine Kelly)

"A few weeks after the London Marathon in April Edward will reach a monumental milestone of 5 years post treatment and running the marathon feels like a fitting way to mark that occasion. 

"We are very aware of how fortunate we are, although Edward has been left with some life changing consequences he is here with us, where he belongs and he is thriving, there are so many people that we have met on this journey for whom the outcome is not the same and I am running for every single one of them too."

Catherine has already raised over £1,750 of her £3,500 target for Brain Tumour Research UK. You can visit Catherine's JustGiving page here.

She also encourages everyone who is medically able to give blood to do so as without this Edward would not have been able to receive the 30 blood and platelet transfusions that ultimately made him better.

Catherine added: "Life after treatment is difficult. Everything has had to be re-learned and there are still so many daily challenges that he battles.

"Although he is doing so so well some days are just incredibly tough for him. I cannot convey how proud we are of him and his siblings who carry us through the dark days and how they embrace and manage this 'new normal'.


"It's beyond vital that people are aware of the symptoms because early diagnosis is absolutely crucial."

Edward is still having regular scans as his tumour was particularly aggressive and there is a significant risk or relapse. 

While Catherine admits to not being a great runner, she is determined to complete the challenge for her family and for others.

The London marathon will take place on Sunday, April 21 this year.