Teenager starts epic 5k a day running challenge as twin has cancer treatment

A teenager from Bury has begun a 5k-a-day running challenge to support his twin brother as he begins treatment for brain cancer.

Alex Pullan, 17, started the daily running challenge on Monday to raise money for Brain Tumour Research.

He will carry on for 42 days throughout brother Matthew's radiotherapy.

Credit: PA


£6500

fundraising target

210 km

total distance of challenge

16,000

people in the UK diagnosed with a brain tumour each year


"We are in it together"

Matthew, who studies at Bury College, was diagnosed with an ependymoma brain tumour when he was three years old.

The tumour was successfully operated on and Matthew underwent radiotherapy, but another tumour was detected in June this year, with surgery in July removing 99% of it.

Alex Pullan with twin Matthew Credit: PA

Matthew has recovered from the operation, but surgeons will not be able to operate further on the tumour, with the teenager requiring radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

He said he is "extremely proud" of his brother's fundraising effort.

One thing we do have in common is a love of running and while I'm not able to run at the moment, this will be the next best thing, as I follow Alex's progress.

Matthew Pullan

Matthew's surgery took nine hours - with twin Alex saying the wait for it to end was "awful".

Alex Pullan with twin Matthew

"What made it worse this time was not being able to visit, due to the Covid-19 restrictions. He stayed in hospital for six days - I don't think we've ever been apart for that long before!"

"We are a tight-knit family and feel that we are in it together and will support each other through these difficult times," Alex said.

Brain Tumour Research says it is "blown away" by Alex's challenge, and will be cheering him on throughout.

You can find out more about the running challenge here.