Robin-Mark Runs Champion Fund
Facing a brain tumour diagnosis and the treatment that follows can be a life changing experience in many different ways. For Robin-Mark Schols it meant facing a lengthy recovery, but it also gave him a new outlook.
“When I woke up from my op and found out I had another chance at life I looked at myself and realised I had to do something”
"Back in 2009, in my late 40’s, I'd been suffering headaches for quite some time. Then leaving work one afternoon I took a tumble and ended up in hospital having tests and a CT scan which resulted in the diagnosis of a frontal lobe brain tumour, a meningioma.
"Due to the tumour’s size I had an operation within days, which was a success and, despite also having to get through pneumonia while in hospital, once home I made a steady recovery. I was very lucky not to have any chemo or radiotherapy to deal with, just a big scar, some hair growing challenges and some headaches until everything mended.
"During recovery, I took the opportunity to re-evaluate my health going forward. Weighing over 16 stone and not very fit, I decided to change this, so I started running. I ran much better than expected and within months joined a running club. I've since completed hundreds of races amongst them almost 50 half marathons and 8 full marathons including London in 2014 and 2015.
"Sadly, after my London Marathon in 2015, I suffered a major setback with a massive brain infection and once again needed an emergency operation to save my life. During this op the surgeon had to remove a section of infected skull bone, to be replaced eventually by a titanium plate. In the meantime I was to wear a helmet to protect my brain.
"I wanted to help promote brain tumour awareness while wearing the helmet so took part in a couple of races including the Bath Half and my marathon comeback in London April 2017. As well as the helmet I ran proudly in the colours of Brain Tumour Support.
"My overriding thought is how lucky I have been through the whole process. I feel I've had to endure so little compared to some of the stories of others I've read.
"Last year I raised funds through the London Marathon and organised a new event ‘The Hilly Helmet Challenge’ where entrants are encouraged to run 4 miles in a helmet. I'm hoping to stage the event again this year and add to the amount I have managed to raise for BTS so far."
Take a look at some pictures from last year's Hilly Helmet Challenge below:
Bath Half Marathon
Robin-Mark started his fundraising for us with this Marathon wearing his helmet, and gave us £55.
London Marathon 2017
Robin-Mark began fundraising for Brain Tumour Support in earnest, and raised £1,171.50 (including a £100 Match Funding gift from his employer). As a bonus he managed to complete it in a great time for his age category, allowing him to get a Gold Bond place for 2018.
The (original) Hilly Helmet Challenge
The first running event organised entirely for Brain Tumour Support, where people were encouraged to run wearing a helmet as Robin-Mark had to. It was a sell-out success and great fun for all 125 runners – some of whom wore some hilarious helmets and fancy dress - so much so that Robin-Mark’s aim is for it to be an annual event.
This highly successful and fun event raised an amazing £2,417.36 (£500 of which was sponsorship that allowed the Challenge to happen without cost to us).
London Marathon 2018
Robin took on this iconic Marathon once again this year.
All raising an amazing amount to date of over £4,500
The Hilly Helmet Challenge 2018
15th August 2018
A race a little over 4 miles long, where entrants are encouraged to wear a helmet and fancy dress is even better. There are great prizes to be had and a special memento for each runner at the end. This year, you can even get your entry fee refunded by collecting sponsorship for Brain Tumour Support!
Find out more on the Hilly Helmet website.
Entries are now open for this year’s run, so get your place here before they sell out: www.entrycentral.com/thehillyhelmetchallenge