IN 10 days time Gareth Dunn will step out in the London Marathon just 13 months after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.

He was diagnosed with a malignant anaplastic astrocytoma in the right frontal lobe – in March 2013.

Since then the 40 year-old father-of-two has had to cope with major brain surgery, six weeks of radiotherapy and in February was made redundant from his job as a marketing manager.

Rather than taking a step back cursing the cruel hand life had dealt him, Gareth grasped the challenge and entered the London Marathon on behalf of Macmillan nurses.

Gareth, who lives in Newton-le-Willows with his wife Liston and their children, Sam, aged seven and four year-old Evie, told the Star about the day he was taken ill.

Gareth sensed something was wrong. As he was dropping off his son at school, he started to feel light-headed and strangely emotional.

“I got an overwhelming feeling I was never going to see Sam again,” he admitted.

“‘My head felt a bit fuzzy; I hugged him and was in tears. Sam just shrugged me off and thought I was being silly!” he said.

Later that day Gareth had a seizure at work and was rushed to hospital where an MRI scan revealed a brain tumour.

Gareth said: “Finding out is impossible to describe. I wanted to know if I was going to die? How long had I got? Could it be treated? And then I started to think about family and friends.”

It wasn’t Gareth’s first encounter with serious illness, his father had died from a prostrate problem less than two years earlier.

Always a keen runner Gareth has completed the London Marathon once before and has been given a special ‘golden bond’ place to enter the April 13 race.

“I want to raise as much money as I can. Nobody deserves to be ill; some people are just unlucky. I feel it’s everyone’s responsibility to make sure their journey throughout illness is made as comfortable as possible. That’s what the fine people at Macmillan do – day in, day out,” he said, determined to run the race in under 4½ hours.

*To sponsor Gareth’s marathon run see