BERKSWELL father-of-three Mark Fischer-Beards is keeping the fighting spirit of his late wife Laura alive by taking on The Equinox 24-hour endurance race to raise funds for The Brain Tumour Charity.
Laura, who with Mark had three children – Elliot, Henry and Sebastian – was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour in October 2012 after suffering from persistent neck pain.
The former Warwick Hospital Nurse turned West Midlands Police officer fought a determined and brave battle against the cruel disease including overcoming paralysis, undertaking chemotherapy and jetting out to America for last-hope surgery.
Her brave fight, however, was lost on September 8, 2015 – the day of Sebastian’s fifth birthday – when she passed away at the Marie Curie Hospice in Solihull.
“Laura’s death has affected many people none more so than the boys and I who have been left without our beautiful mummy and wife,” said Mark who is keeping his beloved wife’s memory alive through a fundraising drive to raise funds and awareness about the disease.
He set up ‘The Laura Fischer-Beards Fund’ an official supporter group of The Brain Tumour Charity after Laura’s death.
“We are hoping to reach a total of £20,000 for the first year for ‘The Laura Fischer-Beards Fund’ and are very close to achieving it,” he added.
Mark, joined by friends, family and supporters have already raised over £18,000 through a variety of events – a remarkable achievement.
“There have been individual and team challenges which have tested determination, courage and resolve – all characteristics that Laura displayed in her approach to dealing with her brain tumour,” said Mark.
And he is hoping the latest fundraising mission – The Equinox 24 event – will see the £20,000 target reached and smashed.
Mark will be joined at the September event at Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire by Mel Glover, Simon Hackett, April Langston, Darren Bird, Christian Horne and Natalie Bird who will run as many 10km laps in 24 hours as they can.
Mark added: “It has been almost a year since Laura sadly died and as the anniversary approaches, our youngest Sebastian will be six years old on the same day.
“I draw strength from our boys and know that Laura would be proud of what we have achieved so far.
“We will continue to raise awareness and funds so that research and clinical trials can advance for all families that are affected by brain tumours, with the hope of one day finding a cure.”
Geraldine Pipping, The Brain Tumour Charity’s Director of Fundraising, paid tribute to Mark for his determination to help others in the face of his own loss and wished him and the team the best of luck for the event.
She added: “We receive no government funding and rely 100 per cent on voluntary donations, so it’s only through the efforts of Mark and others like him that we can work towards our twin goals of doubling survival and halving the harm caused by brain tumours.
“Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and people under 40 in the UK and survival rates have not improved significantly over the last 40 years. We need to change that.”
To donate go to: bit.ly/TeamLaws
For more information about the Laura Fischer-Beards fund and Laura and the family’s story visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Laura-Fischer-Beards-fund