A Sheffield teenager who has bravely battled three brain tumours
is hoping to inspire his school friends, family and runners of all
abilities to go the extra mile for charity.
Jo Orpwood, 13, is taking part in this year's Head Start 5K
challenge for Neurocare, the groundbreaking city-based charity
which tackles brain disease and injury head on.
The Silverdale School pupil has raised more than £450 by taking
part in the charity run to thank Neurocare for supporting him
through 13 operations at Sheffield Children's Hospital and Weston
Park Cancer Hospital.
Jo was diagnosed with three benign brain tumours in February
2007 and had surgery in 2010 with specialist Gamma Knife surgical
equipment funded by Neurocare.
The courageous lad endured eight operations before he was eight
years-old and surgery and radiotherapy have now successfully
shrunken Jo's tumours.
Jo said: "I'm really looking forward to supporting Neurocare by
taking part in the Head Start. I've taken part once before in 2010
and it was a great atmosphere.
"I've been training by running around different parks in
Sheffield with my best friends which has been fun. I'm not very
sporty but running is a really good hobby for me.
"I wanted to do this for Neurocare because they have been so
helpful to me and so many other people with brain tumours and
neurological conditions. I really identify with Neurocare and feel
passionately about what they do. They are like the Father Christmas
of the medical world - the surgeons ask for state-of-the-art
equipment and Neurocare help provide it for them!
"My head has a few bumps and dints but I feel fine now and this
is my way of thanking Neurocare. I hope that I can encourage other
people to take part and to show that, despite having a brain
tumour, nothing can stop me."
The Neurocare Head Start run takes place on Sunday, April 15, at
Rother Valley Country Park. Neurocare has raised more than £1
million in the past four years for the Neurosciences Department at
Sheffield's Royal Hallamshire Hospital.
It funds vital life-saving equipment, facilities and nurse
training at the Hallamshire - one of the country's leading neuro
centres - helping patients with brain injuries and a wide range of
conditions including tumours, strokes, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis
and serious sleep disorders.
Jo was encouraged to take part in the Neurocare Head Start by
Rob Creasey, a mentor at Silverdale School, following a special
assembly hosted by the charity. His mum Kate, dad Neil and
sister Elizabeth, 11, will be cheering him on when he crosses the
Kate added: "Jo has been astonishingly brave and I'm so proud of
him. I'm so pleased he is taking part in the Head Start because you
read so many negative stories about people with brain tumours, it's
important for people to read about positive, hopeful
Neurocare aims to double the amount of people taking part in
this year's fun run. Race goers are invited to wear fancy dress or
purple Neurocare t-shirts to complete a circuit around two of the
park's picturesque lakes.
More than 200 people participated in last year's event, raising
£10,700 for Neurocare.
Emma Douglas, fundraiser for Neurocare, added: "Last year's Head
Start was such an inspiring event and I hope that incredible fund
raisers like Jo encourage more people than ever to take part. It's
a family-friendly race which is more about everyone coming
together, having fun and raising money for charity than running a
"We hope that runners, their friends and family all come along
with their barbecues and picnics to enjoy the atmosphere."
Entry costs £10 per person and is open to all ages. Under 16s
must take part with a supervisory adult and under fives can enter
Application forms are now available by visiting www.neurocare.org.uk or by
Alternatively phone Emma, on 0114 2676 464.