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A father is showing his thanks for the hospital that treated his son’s brain tumour by taking part in The Great Yorkshire Run for The Children’s Hospital Charity.

Simon Dodds, from Beighton in Sheffield, will take on the annual 10k as a way to give something back to the hospital where his eldest son, Alex, was treated in February 2009.

The brave youngster, who was nine at the time, was diagnosed following an MRI scan to investigate a tremor in his hands which they noticed when he was pouring a drink.

He was immediately admitted to the hospital’s S1 ward and underwent emergency brain surgery to remove a large benign tumour.

The surgery was a success, although Alex was left with some residual tumour tissue due to its proximity to the brain stem. This later caused a blockage resulting in severe headache and meant he had to undergo a further nine hour operation.

Since then Alex, now 13, has remained under the supervision of the hospital, returning for regular MRI scans and check-ups.

Simon said: “I feel it is my duty to repay the hospital and it’s charity for the excellent treatment Alex received – the care was second to none and the staff did everything they could to help us through what was an extremely difficult experience.

“This is my third fundraiser for The Children’s Hospital Charity. In 2010 I did a 60 day gym challenge when I lifted over one million kg in weights and travelled over 500km and then in 2011 I ran a 5k alongside Alex.

“I’m really looking forward to The Great Yorkshire Run and taking part alongside fellow Team Theo runners – I hope lots of patients, families and seasoned runners join in, donate or even just come along to cheer us on as we do it for the kids.”

Last year just under 100 runners represented the charity and raised over £20,000 by crossing the finish line, and this year they are hoping to raise even more with a target of £25,000.

Director of The Children’s Hospital Charity, David Vernon-Edwards, said: “We are very much looking forward to The BUPA Great Yorkshire Run returning to Sheffield. It’s always such a great atmosphere and we love to see our supporters put on their running shoes to raise money for our hospital.

“Last year people like Simon helped us to raise more than £20,000 and this year we are hoping to beat that. The money raised will go towards transforming The Children’s Hospital into a world class facility.”

The Children’s Hospital, Sheffield, is one of only four stand-alone children’s hospitals in the UK. It currently accommodates more than 245,000 patient visits each year from across Yorkshire, the UK and the rest of the world.

For more information or to register for The Great Yorkshire Run please visit, or contact the charity office on 0114 271 7203 or email

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