THE sister-in-law of an “inspirational” man who completed a sprint triathlon after being diagnosed with brain cancer has ran her farthest distance to raise money in his memory, one year to the day that he passed away.

Barry Williams, from Ruthin, was a popular member of the town’s cycling club and regularly took part in the long-distance swimming, cycling and running competition. The dad of a seven and five-year-old was fit and healthy when he received his brain tumour diagnosis in November 2012, and it came as a shock to his family.

Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40 and reduce life expectancy by on average 20 years, the highest of any other cancer. The symptoms can include severe headaches, seizures, mental health difficulties and memory loss.

However, it is one of the least funded types of cancer and since 1971 there has been an overall increase in the survival rate of high-grade cases of less than 10 per cent - one of the poorest improvements across all cancers.

But Barry’s diagnosis did not stop him from “living life to the full” and performing in the Ruthin TriStars senior event.

Lucinda Thomas, mental health nurse from Denbigh, whose partner Darren is Barry’s brother, wanted to raise money in Barry’s memory after he passed away in May last year. She decided to run the Chester Half Marathon, alongside close friend and fitness circuits partner Lowri Foulkes, which took place one year to the day that Barry died.

Lucinda said: “He was an amazing inspirational man, son, brother, husband and dad of two beautiful young girls Seren and Bethan.

“We completed the half marathon on the May 19, a year to the day Barry passed away, so it was a really emotional day for the whole family.

“Barry was so brave and determined that he even competed in a triathlon whilst undergoing intensive chemotherapy. This was my motivation, as well as the fact that brain tumours are the largest killer in men and young children, yet it is one of the least funded.

“I personally wanted to raise awareness and funds to help others who may be going through similar heart-breaking and difficult times if they have a family member or are themselves going through this.

“The most I had ran was 5k for cancer research which i have done twice now with my young son, for that we raised over £800 so for me this was by far my biggest challenge but i was determined to do it and hopefully make my family proud.

“I am so pleased to have completed it and thank everyone for their kindness and support shown.”

Lucinda and Lowri raised more than £2,000 for The Brain Tumour Charity, the leading charity for brain tumour research and post-diagnostic support.

Lowri, from Ruthin, who is a careers advisor for Ysgol Brynhyfryd and Ysgol Glan Clwyd, said: “Lu entering the half-marathon inspired me because I wasn’t feeling terribly confident. I knew I would need to commit to some serious training, which was pretty daunting because I was struggling to run 5k without stopping!

“I had witnessed some of the devastation that Lu, Darren and their family were going through after Barry died and decided to help Lu raise as much money as possible.”

To donate to Lucinda and Lowri’s effort, search ‘Lucinda and Lowris Chester Half Marathon page’ on JustGiving.