Friend's tragic death inspires Milton Keynes couple to take on Great North Run for brain tumour charity

Lyn and Simon Webb
Lyn and Simon Webb

A couple from Fairfields in Milton Keynes are taking part in the world’s biggest half marathon to raise money for research into the disease that claimed the life of a close friend.

Simon, 48, and Lyn Webb, 49 will take part in next month’s Great North Run in Newcastle Upon Tyne, following the death of their close friend Wing Commander (Wg Cdr) Kieran O’Sullivan, who Simon befriended when they were new recruits in the ‘Fighter Control’ branch of the Royal Air Force (RAF).

Simon and Lyn Webb

Simon and Lyn Webb

Simon, now an RAF veteran, said: “Kieran and I were very close friends, having first met in 1994 when we joined the RAF within months of each other and were in our early to mid-20s. Our wives, Lyn and Beth, also became good friends and although our postings often took us apart, we would often spend time together on holiday, weekend breaks or visiting each other’s homes."

Kieran was first diagnosed in 2001 and sadly died on November 15, 2018.

Simon said: “We spent as much time as we could with Kieran and Beth in 2018. During the summer we could see a steady decline in his health. It was still a huge blow to hear from Beth that Kieran had gone at the age of just 44.

“It will be particularly poignant completing the Great North Run as Kieran himself ran it five times.”

Keiran O'Sullivan and Simon Webb

Keiran O'Sullivan and Simon Webb

Simon and his wife Lyn have been training for the Great North Run and completed the Milton Keynes half marathon earlier in the year, as well as the Race for Life at Willen Lake.

They will be raising money for Brain Tumour Research. Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer...but only one per cent of the national spend on cancer is allocated to this disease.

Simon added: “It’s unacceptable to think that Kieran’s death and the deaths of so many other young people could have been prevented, had more funding gone into finding a cure. Too many people are affected by this cruel condition; it’s a cause close to my heart.”

“We raised £1,500 by running the MK half and are now hoping to smash our new target of £2,500. More needs to be done to raise awareness, as well as challenging the government and larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours.”

The Great North Run is on September 8. To donate via Simon’s page, please go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/simon-webb30