Belfast Telegraph

Jane Witherspoon among celebrities planning India bike ride for tumour research

Celebrities are joining forces to raise money for brain tumour research to celebrate the life of fitness guru Nicki Waterman who died from an inoperable brain tumour last year.

The stars, including Denise Van Outen and TV presenter Jane Witherspoon, are planning a 187-mile charity bike ride in India to raise funds for the charity Brain Tumour Research.

Ms Witherspoon became friends with Ms Waterman, who worked as a fitness expert for The Sun newspaper, after her father Malcolm Fairrington was diagnosed with brain cancer.

Mr Fairrington, an electrician, died last year aged 67.

" It's one of those things where him and my mum had thought 'we'll start retiring', they'd saved all their money and worked all of their lives and thought they'd go travelling the world," Ms Witherspoon told the Press Association.

"It's just one of those stories where one of them passes away as they want to start enjoying themselves."

Mr Fairrington was diagnosed with an anaplastic astrocytoma - a rare type of brain tumour - in 2014 after complaining about headaches and a strange smell.

He underwent nearly two years of treatment, losing his vision, mobility and independence before he died in April last year.

Ms Witherspoon said she was looking forward to the cycle ride, even though they will be riding in 32C heat.

"There is a cool set of girls going," she said.

"I think there will be really nice banter among the group, and the competition winners who have lost loved ones.

"Everyone will be able to share stories. It is something that has affected everybody.

"The fact that we are doing it for the Nicki Waterman Foundation - she was the most incredible woman.

"I only really got to know her well over the last six months when my dad was dying because she put me in touch with her oncologist in London.

"We just hit it off, kept in touch and then I got to know her daughter Alex.

"She was one of the most inspiring women I have ever met in my life.

"She would be thrilled we're doing this. She'll be up there with my dad having a good old laugh."

Brain tumours kill more children and adults under 40 than any other cancer but just 1% of the national spend on cancer research is given to research the disease, according to Brain Tumour Research.

Kieran Breen, director of research at the charity, said: "Significant research investment is critical if we are going to beat this disease.

"It's not a lost cause and Brain Tumour Research is committed to stirring a revolution in attitudes across the board to ensure that people who are diagnosed in the future will have a more hopeful prognosis."

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From Belfast Telegraph