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Sisters taking part in tough challenge to pay tribute to 27-year-old friend killed by a brain tumour

PUBLISHED: 12:04 14 June 2019 | UPDATED: 15:36 14 June 2019

Belinda and Stephanie Ensten are completing a gruelling endurance challenge for a friend who died. Picture: Brain Tumour Research

Belinda and Stephanie Ensten are completing a gruelling endurance challenge for a friend who died. Picture: Brain Tumour Research

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A midwife from Kilburn is taking part in tough endurance challenge with her sister to pay tribute to a friend who died of cancer.

Belinda and Stephanie Ensten recently ran a Hackney half marathon to prepare for a 53 mile ultra marathon. Picture: Brain Tumour ResearchBelinda and Stephanie Ensten recently ran a Hackney half marathon to prepare for a 53 mile ultra marathon. Picture: Brain Tumour Research

Belinda and Stephanie Ensten were devastated when Daniel Dewar, 27, died in October - less than a year after he found with a low-grade brain tumour.

They are in the final stages of training to take part in "ultra-marathon" Race to the King on June 22 to raise funds for Brain Tumour Research.

The sisters will run 53 miles along the South Downs Way taking on 23.4 miles one day and climbing 2,718ft in the process. The next day they will tackle a 30-mile run with a 2,333ft climb.

Belinda, who lives in Kilburn and works at the Whittington Hospital in Archway, said: "Dan was a loyal, supportive and courageous friend. Even as his condition quickly deteriorated, his good humour and friendship were unwavering and it's heart-breaking that this disease has taken him away so cruelly and at such a young age.

Belinda and Stephanie Ensten are completing a gruelling endurance challenge for a friend who died. Picture: Brain Tumour ResearchBelinda and Stephanie Ensten are completing a gruelling endurance challenge for a friend who died. Picture: Brain Tumour Research

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"We had to do something in the immediate aftermath of his death and this physical challenge seemed a fitting way to remember him."

Stephanie, who lives in south London, added: "We recently ran the Hackney half marathon, which was Belinda's first time running over this distance, and I have now run two back-to-back half marathons. It's been extremely tough - I have the blisters to prove it - but we're so motivated knowing how poor Dan's prognosis was. It really opened our eyes to how much more needs to be done for brain tumour patients."

Dan was diagnosed with a low-grade brain tumour in November 2017 but just six months later the tumour was found to be an aggressive glioma.

Belinda and Stephanie Ensten recently ran a Hackney half marathon to prepare for a 53 mile ultra marathon. Picture: Brain Tumour ResearchBelinda and Stephanie Ensten recently ran a Hackney half marathon to prepare for a 53 mile ultra marathon. Picture: Brain Tumour Research

The sisters aim to raise £2,740, the amount it costs per day to sponsor a Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence. They recently held an event raising £500.

They also hope to commission a tile for Dan on the centre's Wall of Hope where sponsors and loved ones fighting, or lost to, brain tumours are recognised.

Janice Wright, community fundraising manager for the charity, said: "Belinda and Stephanie's determination to fundraise for us is inspirational and we can't thank them enough for their amazing efforts. Dan's story reminds us that brain tumours kill more men under the age of 45 than prostate cancer yet historically just 1 per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease."

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