Morpeth area couple join ultra-marathon fundraising effort in memory of boy who died from rare brain tumour

A Hespcott couple are joining a dad’s major fundraising effort in memory of his son who died last year from a rare brain tumour aged just eight.

By Andrew Coulson
Thursday, 16th June 2022, 5:45 pm

Ross Peckham is to tackle a 53-mile run from his home at Marske-by-the-Sea near Redcar on Teesside to the Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle, where his son Lochlan received care.

Lochlan’s consultant, Dr Rebecca Hill, will join the final part of the run that takes place on Friday, June 24. Her fiancé, Andrew Hebden, will tackle the full distance with Ross.

They are raising funds for two charities that support brain tumour research – Children’s Cancer North and Brain Tumour Research.

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Ross Peckham, left, and Andrew Hebden in training for the ultra-marathon. Picture by Michaela Simpson.

Lochlan was diagnosed with a rare form of brain tumour, a high-grade glioma, in the summer of 2019.

For almost two years he endured surgery, endless hospital visits and months of gruelling treatments before he passed away in May 2021.

Rebecca, MRC clinical scientist at Newcastle University and honorary consultant in paediatric oncology at the Great North Children’s Hospital, said: “It was a true privilege meeting Lochlan and being part of the team who cared for him.

“He was a joy to look after and I will always miss his infectious smile and the jokes he used play on our medical students.”

Andrew, 43, said: “It has been great to get to know Ross and start training with him.

“I am keen to do my bit and help with the fundraising effort, as well as providing Ross with some support as we undertake this challenge together.

“Although we’ve both run marathons before, this is a run on a different scale. It’s going to be really tough, but we’re both determined to complete it for such a great cause.”

Ross, 43, said he hoped the fundraising effort would ensure that something positive came as a result of Lochlan’s passing and that it would support much-needed research into brain tumours.

He added: “There is nothing we can do to bring Lochlan back.

“But we can try to raise money for, and awareness of, the research that is so desperately needed into this devastating illness.”

To make a donation to the charities via the online fundraising page, go to www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/runforlochlan