FOOTBALL fans in the North-East are being urged to show their support for the wife of a former player.

Graeme Lee started his career with Hartlepool in 1995, ended his playing days with Darlington in 2012 and is currently under-23 coach at Middlesbrough.

His wife, Gemma, is suffering from a rare brain tumour.

Friends and family have arranged a sponsored cycling event this weekend in Stockton and are hoping for a positive response to the event.

Megan Clarke, one of Gemma’s friends, has arranged the ride and said: “Gemma is the most courageous and inspirational person I have ever met. She is currently fighting a stage 4 brain tumour. Gemma’s tumour is very rare - diffuse midline glioma h3k 27 mutation - which means treatment options are very limited.

“Gem has already had the standard treatment available on the NHS, radiation / chemo which made her very poorly and she is still dealing with the side affects from the last round.

“Gem is extremely lucky to have a brilliant support system and thanks to her friend Kelly O'Malley we have managed to find a trial drug ONC201 which is now a phase two trial in America with some very promising results so far.

“We are lucky enough to have sourced this in Germany and Graeme went and collected two months worth the of drug which Gemma started on Monday.

“We are extremely hopeful and praying for good results not only for our family but for all those other families out there who are faced with this horrendous disease and are also told like us that there is no cure.

“Every penny we raise will go towards covering the expenses of getting the drug.’’

She added: “We are very lucky with the amount of fundraising that has gone on throughout the year which make these options so much easier for us to access quickly. We are beyond grateful to each and every person who has contributed but the fundraising cannot stop as this is an expensive drug.

“If Gem has good results from this drug it will be a long-term use so we must keep the fight going. This is why I have decided to organise a bike ride for the same amount of miles as travelling to Germany - 700 miles!’’

The event will run today from 5-8pm, tomorrow 8am-8pm and Sunday 8am-8pm
 in the foyer of David Lloyd's Teesside, Tees Barrage Way in Stockton. Gemma was a member there for many years.

If Gemma is well enough she will be opening the cycling at 5pm and friends and family are all welcome to attend and show their support. Some slots are still available and anyone able to join in should contact Megan on 07817 457085, and all ideas for fund raising are welcomed.