East Preston widow in ultra challenge for Brain Tumour Research

Widow Heather Leggett paid tribute to her courageous, strong husband by completing a 100km ultra challenge in aid of Brain Tumour Research.

Tuesday, 4th September 2018, 11:01 am
Updated Tuesday, 4th September 2018, 11:02 am
Heather Leggett completed the ultra challenge in 27 hours and finished 99 out of 140 women

Jonathan Leggett died aged 54 in January last year, from a highly-aggressive type of brain tumour, and Heather, 51, wanted to raise money for the charity in his memory, supported by their twins, Rachel and Matthew, 25.

She took part in the South Coast Challenge 2018, walking from Eastbourne to Arundel, and collected more than £650.

Heather, a compliance officer from East Preston, said: “Jonathan’s life was full of fun, laughter and love and he was very well thought of and respected by work colleagues.

“Jonathan was a man of principle and integrity who has enriched our lives in so many wonderful ways. Our 25 years of marriage together was a true blessing and I feel incredibly privileged to have met and married such a wonderful man and loving father.

“Jonathan was so proud of Matthew and Rachel, as am I, and I know his values will stand them in good stead as they forge their own way in life. We all miss him dearly.

“Throughout his illness, Jonathan was courageous and strong and I wanted to pay tribute to his determination by completing the South Coast Challenge.”

Heather completed the ultra challenge in 27 hours and said she was ‘walking around like John Wayne afterwards’ but it was worth it.

“I made some wonderful and lasting memories during the challenge, although it was very tough,” she added.

“Despite getting nasty blisters, I enjoyed seeing some of England’s finest scenery, including Beachy Head, the magnificent Seven Sisters, and the stunning views over Brighton.”

Jonathan grew up in Littlehampton and worked as an employee share plans consultant. He was diagnosed with a grade four glioblastoma after collapsing at a football tournament and experiencing the sensation of a strange smell.

He was treated with radiotherapy and chemotherapy, and Heather said the Brain Tumour Research team was incredibly supportive to the family.

Tim Green, senior community fundraising manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: “The determination and commitment Heather showed at the South Coast Challenge was fantastic and we are extremely grateful for her support. I hope her efforts inspire others whose lives have been affected by a brain tumour.

“Sadly, Jonathan’s story reminds us that less than 20 per cent of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50 per cent across all cancers. For too long, brain tumours have been a neglected cancer and we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue.”