A TEENAGER from North Yorkshire is running the TCS London Marathon in memory of his dad who died from a brain tumour - and he's being supported by a Harry Potter actress.

Damian Colman-Chadwick, 49, died from a glioblastoma (GBM) five years ago. His son, Rafe, 18, from Harrogate, will be one of the youngest runners taking on the 26.2-mile race on Sunday, April 21 in aid of the charity Brain Tumour Research.

He said: “When Dad was diagnosed, he was told by doctors he had six months to live, yet he cracked on with life with a smile on his face, because he knew the most important thing he could do, was to be there for me as my dad, despite the circumstances we were in. He lived for two years, far longer than what the doctors anticipated.

“To leave this world at 49, and to leave your son at 12, is something no parent should have to face. Without Dad, I have had to learn how to shave (with the help of my friends) and learn how to fit back into the environment of everyday life. It has certainly had its challenges. There still isn’t a day I don’t think about his death. Yet, no challenge is harder than knowing you will not be able to watch your child grow old. And this is something I have come to realise with time.”

York Press: Rafe training for the London MarathonRafe training for the London Marathon (Image: Supplied)

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Miriam Margolyes, who played Professor Sprout in two of the Harry Potter films, recorded a message of support for Rafe when she met him in Harrogate on her latest book tour, promoting, Oh Miriam!

In the video, she said: “Rafe is doing a marathon for Brain Tumour Research. His dad died because he had a brain tumour. We need to do research into that area of cancer. Please support Rafe, he’s running and he’s doing it for his dad. Please open your purses and your hearts. Thank you.”

Rafe said: "I am incredibly thankful to everyone who has supported me by donating to Brain Tumour Research. Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer. Just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this disease. I’m doing this in memory of my dad with the hope of making a positive impact on the lives of other patients and their families."

York Press: Miriam Margolyes recorded a video of support for RafeMiriam Margolyes recorded a video of support for Rafe (Image: Supplied)

Carol Robertson, national events manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “At 18 years old, Rafe will be one of the youngest runners at this years’ London Marathon. He is such an inspiration to us all, and we’re delighted Miriam Margolyes is supporting him.

“With one in three people knowing someone affected by a brain tumour, Damian’s story is, sadly, not unique. Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease since records began in 2002.

“We’re determined to change that but it’s only by working together we will be able to improve treatment options for patients and, ultimately, a cure. We’re really grateful for Rafe’s support and will be there to cheer him across the finish line on Sunday.”

Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centres in the UK. It also campaigns for the Government and larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours in order to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure. The charity is the driving force behind the call for a national annual spend of £35 million in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia.

To support Rafe’s fundraising, visit: justgiving.com/page/raferunningfordad

York Press: Rafe Colman-Chadwick with his dadRafe Colman-Chadwick with his dad