Bikers take on challenge to find brain tumour cure

Paul Brady, Mike Herron, Paul Griffiths, Martin Horrell and Stuart Morrissey
(Last Updated On: August 2, 2022)

A biker from Devon is preparing to ride more than 1,000 miles in three days in memory of his best friend’s wife who died of a brain tumour.

Stuart Morrissey from Plymouth will take to the roads on his 125cc motorcycle, stopping off at 14 of the country’s vehicle museums along the way. The challenge, which will see him cover 1,100 miles in just three days, is inspired by Christine Griffiths who was 66 when she died from an aggressive brain tumour in February 2021.

Christine, who was married to Stuart’s best friend, had a scan after experiencing double vision in 2008 and was told there was no cause for concern. However, ten years later a second MRI scan at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth showed a mass on her brain.

Stuart, who lives with a spinal condition has ‘battled against all the odds’ and since 2004 has raised close to £100,000 for UK charities.

The 60-year-old said: “Christine was well-loved in the motorcycle community, and I first met her and her husband, Paul through their embroidery business called BS Embroidery. They embroidered patches on the jackets of bikers. Unfortunately, both Paul and I have been touched by cancer as our wives bonded over their experience of living with the disease and we’ve been friends ever since.”

Christine had surgery to remove part of the mass, which was growing on her brain stem, leaving her blind and deaf on her left side.

She was given six weeks of gruelling radiotherapy; however, the tumour was too aggressive, and she died in February 2021.

Stuart will be riding with his friends, Paul Brady and Shaun Harley who will filming the epic challenge. Driving the support van, which is being supplied by BS Embroidery will be Mike Herron and Martin Horrell.

More than 60 motorcyclists are set to join Stuart for the last leg of his tour which will finish at BS Embroidery in Liskeard, the factory set up by Christine and Paul.

Widower Paul said: “Christine always wanted to ride route 66 in America so this seemed like a fitting tribute.

“I’m grateful for Stuart agreeing to take on this challenge in memory of Christine. My hope is that it will raise awareness of the devastation brain tumours cause and raise money to help fund research to find a cure.”

Less than 12% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers, yet historically just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to brain tumours.

Mel Tiley, community development manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: “We’re sorry to hear about Christine’s diagnosis and are thankful to Paul and Stuart for sharing her story. Christine’s story is a stark reminder that more research needs to be done to find better treatment options and a cure for this deadly disease. We wish Stuart well in his incredible challenge.”

Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centres in the UK. It also campaigns for the Government and the larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours in order to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure. The 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 line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia and is also campaigning for greater repurposing of drugs.

To donate to Brain Tumour Research via Stuart’s fundraiser, please visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/biker4brains?utm_medium=qrcode&utm_source=offline&utm_term=a9397c8c6

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