A Harrogate chef has agreed to take on the Great North Run later this year in memory of his nan, who died from a brain tumour.

Matt Hutchinson, who works at the Empress on the Stray, will be running alongside colleague Simon Edwards to raise money for The Brain Tumour Charity.

Matt lost his nan to a grade four brain tumour four years ago, having noticed subtle changes that family first believed to be the onset of dementia.

Speaking about the half marathon in September, Matt told Your Harrogate:

“I want to do it in memory of her, but I’ve never done anything like this before.

“I’m not a small bloke, and my friend Simon who is running it with me is not exactly a small bloke either!”

Matt added:

“I followed the Tom Parker story and that hit me hard, because he wasn’t much younger than I am.

“That hit home and brought back a lot of memories of what I went through with my nan and what his wife went through, it’s not a very pleasant experience.

“I want to raise awareness so that people can get the help that they need.”

Matt’s nan passed away in 2018 following a short battle with a brain tumour, but medical professionals could not initially identify the problem.

Following a holiday to Kenya in October 2017, her family began noticing subtle ‘changes’ and knew that was something “wasn’t right.”

Talking about her mum, Linda McCreadie, Matt’s mum, said:

“She was forgetting things, falling and thinking she’d had things stolen when she hadn’t.

“She couldn’t listen to simple things such as ‘mum turn around and sit on the toilet.’ We thought it was an infection.”

Despite numerous appointments, doctors couldn’t diagnose any problems and signed her off with no action.

The hospital eventually agreed to a brain scan and after discovering the tumour, were only able to remove 75% off it safely.

However after 6 weeks of intense chemotherapy and a temporary stay in a care home, she passed away in June 2018.

Speaking about what her mum would think of Matt’s challenge, Linda said:

“My mum would be flabbergasted. Matt is her eldest grandson, so she’d be absolutely over the moon.”

Matt plans to begin his training shortly after an upcoming holiday in preparation for the September event.

He said:

“I’ve had a lot of people say that because of my lifestyle, I’m not going to do it. So this is to prove them wrong but I’m also doing it in support of the brain tumour charity and to keep my nan’s memory alive.

“My manager Trish has actually run it in the past and she was the one who told me and Simon to go for it.

“She said its just an amazing experience and that we won’t regret it. Between me and Simon we have a combined weight of almost 40 stone!”

Contribute to Matt’s fundraising campaign for The Brain Tumour Charity here.

Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.