Man is about to run over 100km for his friend suffering from brain tumour

Although the man never run such long-distance before, what his friend is going through has become his motivation.

Rhys is attempting to run more than 100km to help his friend pay for treatments.

A Cardiff man is going to run over 100km tomorrow to raise money for his friend’s tumour treatment.

Rhys Morgan will take on the challenge in  Cardiff Bay to help Dave Williams, a friend who has been diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme, which is a highly aggressive brain tumour.

“Although I know that Saturday will be challenging,” said Rhys. “The way I think about it is, it’s nothing compared to what Dave and his family are going through.”

Rhys said Dave is a very likeable man, “Anybody who speaks or knows Dave will say he’s just one of those guys you instantly connect with.”

Dave underwent surgery last September, during which he suffered a stroke. Since then, he has tried a tough course of intensive radiotherapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy vaccination and other treatments, which has cost him and his family materially and spiritually.

Before the diagnosis, 42-year-old Dave worked in NHS for the majority of his life. He was keen on sports, playing basketball, surfing, training in the gym and spending time outdoors with his wife and children.

“He’s got a weakness on his left-hand side, which he’s constantly trying to work on,”  said Rhys, Dave is unable to exercise and train as much as he used to. “Recently, he has been wheelchair-bound as well.”

But Rhys said Dave is still fighting against the tumour and painful treatments.

“Even after the diagnosis, he converted his garage to a gym. He was training whenever he could to keep strong. He’s very strong mentally as well.”

Rhys and Dave met about five years ago, but “I feel like I’ve known him all my life because he’s just that kind of guy.”

This 100km running event on Saturday will be the longest distance Rhys ever run. According to his calculation, he will run about 12/13 laps, 4-5 miles per lap.

“I’ve run all my life,” said Rhys. “A lot of people would think it’s crazy. But for me, I enjoy the battle, I like to try and test myself. I think the potential of the human body is immense.”

Rhys has been training hard since August to prepare for it. 

“[I am preparing for it] with a lot of running, a lot of pain, a lot of tears and a lot of sweat,” said Rhys. His right leg broke badly in 2014 and has a screw in the shin, but after finishing seven half marathons in seven days, he fell in love with it.

“A big part of preparing is the mental battle. Once your body switches from feeling okay to oh my god, I’m in pain, then your mind has to take over and it has to get you through those miles,” said Rhys.

“I know for a fact that my body’s going to be hurting, but I’ve got to try and keep it in my mind and be strong. When I’m feeling it, I switch to my friend Dave and think about him. That’s my motivation.”

“My mum always tells me that I was running before I was walking,” said Rhys.

Rhys’ challenge is well supported by his wife and running community, he said: “There’s a lot of people who have reached out and said they’re going to come down, cheer me on, run alongside me. I don’t care if they just run one lap or they just stand and cheer. It means a lot to me.”

He will start his run at 7 am, with each lap starting at the bottom of Campbell Drive, on the Cardiff trail.

“Everything’s in the link in my Instagram (@creature_of_discomfort), if you want to come and get involved, please do.”

Rhys has set up an online donation page for Dave, the latest information of his challenges is also updated here:

(Images sourced from Rhys Morgan)