For more information about the Simplyhealth Great North Run, visit our website.

A family of four from Washington will be raising money at the Simplyhealth Great North Run for charities they are closely connected to.

Neville Harris, 52, is running for the Brain Tumour Charity in memory of Paul Warris, who passed away this year. 

The pair met at school aged 11 and were best friends from thereon. 

Neville said: “Things took a massive turn, last year in the June, when Paul had a fit at work.

A biopsy showed that he had a grade 4 glioblastoma tumour, which is extremely hard to treat. 

“He had radiotherapy, chemotherapy and steroids to fight against the brain tumour.

“I will always remember New Year's Day of this year, when Paul and a lot of his family and friends were out and hoping to celebrate a better year ahead.”

However, in February he went for another brain scan which revealed that the tumour had spread. 

He was admitted to St. Benedict's Hospice on 6 March and despite receiving all the care and treatment he could, he passed away eleven days later. 

Neville said: “I spent a lot of time with him leading up to his death, just talking and keeping him company, but Even now it is so hard to believe that Paul is not with us any longer.

The Simplyhealth Great North Run will be an opportunity for Neville and his family to celebrate Paul's life as well as fundraise for the charities that supported him. 

Neville said: “Myself and my youngest son, Matthew are both running for Paul, raising money for the Brain Tumour Charity and St. Benedict's Hospice.

“My oldest son, David, was going to run for Paul but Paul's brother-in-law suffered a heart attack a few weeks after Paul, so we thought it would be good to also run for Kenny and the Heart Foundation.

“My wife is also running to raise money for the Women's Cancer Detection Society with our close friend Louise, who is doing her first ever Great North Run following breast cancer and a double mastectomy.

“It is going to be a real family affair this year.”

On Sunday 10 September, the Harris family will be joining thousands of runners for the Simplyhealth Great North Run, although this won't be Neville's first time on the course. 

He first took on the half marathon in 1983, aged 18, and has entered almost every year since, making this year's event his 30th Great North Run.

The whole family have caught the running bug and joined Neville several times in the past.

Neville said: “We are all supporting each other and are really looking forward to the day. 

“I know that it will be probably the most emotional one yet as a lot of Paul and Louise's family and friends will be there at the twelve mile point down on the coast.

“I was hoping that Paul would be there watching at the end, instead of me running in his memory.”

Support the Harris family's fundraising for: 

The Brain Tumour Charity 

WCDS 

St. Benedict's Hospice

For more information about the Simplyhealth Great North Run, visit our website.