'My dad is a legend' - Daughter's epic fundraiser after cruel brain tumour

A WODathon workout took place for Mark Draper at the RS3 Fit gym in Norwich

From left to right during the RS3 Fit gym's WODathon are Annie Draper, Sarah Prior, Jude Whittock (Darren's son), Darren Whittock, Rich Barnes (Co-owner and coach) and Sam Halms (Co-owner and coach) - Credit: Contributed

A 26-year-old Norwich woman undertook a gruelling 24 hour cross fit challenge after her father was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour. 

Annie Draper and RS3 Fit member Darren Whittock led a WODathon workout at the Norwich gym from noon on Saturday to noon on Sunday in aid of the Brain Tumour Charity. 

Miss Draper has raised more than £7,000 in total for the charity, including £1,500 through the 24-hour workout, as her father Mark battles his cruel disease. 

Annie Draper has helped raise just over £7,000 in total for the Brain Tumour Foundation

Annie Draper has helped raise just over £7,000 in total for the Brain Tumour Foundation following the diagnosis of her father Mark - Credit: Contributed

Mr Draper, 60, was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma Multiforme in 2018, an aggressive form of brain cancer,

His daughter said: "He just had headaches and no other symptoms, and he rarely went to the doctors throughout the migraine. 

"It was only when we paid for an MRI, that they found it was a brain tumour. We knew something was not right." 

People turned up throughout the RS3 Fit WODathon to raise funds for the Brain Tumour Foundation

People turned up throughout the RS3 Fit WODathon to raise funds for the Brain Tumour Foundation following the diagnosis of Annie Draper's (pictured on the far right) father Mark - Credit: Contributed

After brain surgery, Mr Draper was sent to Addenbrooke's Hospital and underwent six weeks of radiotherapy and six months of chemotherapy. 

Then in June 2019, a routine scan showed he had a tumour despite showing no symptoms. During surgery, Mr Draper had a stroke and could not move the left side of his body.

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He spent six weeks at Norwich's stroke rehabilitation unit before another routine scan revealed a deeper and incurable brain tumour in March 2021. 

Miss Draper said: "My dad was a very fit person and a keen sportsman who enjoyed hiking, skiing, paragliding and squash.

"He has been very positive throughout this rollercoaster and never complained. My dad is a complete legend and during the WODathon, all the workouts were named after heroes and superheroes.

"The first workout was set Mark Draper which was very special for us as he is a hero in our eyes." 

The challenge entailed doing a CrossFit style workout every hour on the hour, for 24 hours, with people turning up throughout to join in, even at 2am. 

Sam Halms, Sarah Prior, Darren Whittock and Annie Draper after completing the challenge 

Sam Halms, Sarah Prior, Darren Whittock and Annie Draper after completing the challenge - Credit: Contributed

Miss Draper, who will also be running the London Marathon for the Brain Tumour Foundation in October, said: "There is nothing I can do for my Dad but I wanted to raise awareness and fund research into the disease."

On the WODathon, she added: "It was a bit insane. I can't walk today. It was such a selfless action of Darren to support me and my family."

Sarah Prior and Darren Whittock

Sarah Prior and Darren Whittock - Credit: Contributed

The fundraising page can be found online at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/annie-draper.

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