My name is James Lee Davies, I am 29 years of age and live in Llanelli, Wales.
At the age of 23 I had a seizure immediately after a 10K run. Following medical attention at my local hospital, an MRI scan revealed I had a brain tumour.
Initially surgeons would not perform surgery in Wales due to the dangers imposed and location of the tumour. Through obtaining a second opinion at University College Hospital in London, I had the brain tumour removed in 2006.
This had extreme effects on my body as I gained three stone and lost a lot of confidence in myself. During this difficult period, I set myself a goal and that was to get fit and be positive in life. I wanted to complete a marathon.
In 2008 I achieved my goal and completed my first marathon which was the New York City Marathon. This was a fantastic experience due to the trauma I had sustained and the fact that I was completing my goal at one of the biggest marathons in the world.
Due to my health issues and experience I raised money for the Brain and Spine Foundation, which was a charity close to my heart due to my experience.
Since 2008 I have completed five marathons - New York, Las Vegas, London (twice) and Dublin. I have raised a large sum of money for the charity in this two-year period.
A week after the 2010 Dublin Marathon I had further surgery because the brain tumour had reoccured. This time I also had radiotherapy treatment.
Because of all this, my 56-year-old father ran the 2011 London Marathon on my behalf for the same charity - he also raised a large sum of money.
During my recent treatment and recovery I have been planning to complete at least another five marathons and raise money. It keeps my body and mind occupied.
I am now back training and looking forward to a hot summer to prepare for my next lifetime experience.
“It’s the things we overcome and achieve that makes us great”
Every marathon is a lifetime experience and to raise money for a charity gives me a great sense of achievement.
My advice and tips for fundraising
Make sure you ask all family members if they will sponsor you for your event, this itself will get the fundraising underway.
Also give family members sponsorship forms as they can also raise money on your behalf.
Ask work colleagues to sponsor you and also arrange events within your workplace, such as a bike ride or golf day to raise funds for the charity.
I held a charity night within the town which Welsh football legend John Hartson attended.
During this night, raffle and auction items raised a large sum of money.
Local businesses were approached and some donated to the evening.
Setting up an online account for people to sponsor you is a good method, as you can describe and explain why you are raising money. Facebook is also a good website to share your goals to raise funds.
Highlight your achievement in the local paper, this will again develop interest into people sponsoring you.
Marathon events are well organised and each event is a fantastic personal experience.
Best wishes to you all!