A CRIMINOLOGY student is raising money in support of her 52-year-old father, who is living with a brain tumour.

Northumbria University student Emily Purvis, 21, is taking on the '10,000 Steps a Day in February Challenge' to raise vital funds for Brain Tumour Research.

It is after her dad Alan Purvis, a part-time commercial manager for a recruitment company in Durham, was diagnosed with a grade 2 oligodendroglioma in February 2018.

He was diagnosed after he experienced lethargy and tinnitus, which he initially put down to work stress.

Emily said: “Dad took a six-month break from work and travelled to Cambodia, where he lived in the jungle and worked at an elephant rescue centre. He worked hard and held senior positions in his career and thought the break might help him to feel better but when he returned from travelling, the symptoms weren’t going away, so he went to see his GP.”

Mr Purvis, who lives in Chester-le-Street was referred to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist at University Hospital of North Durham.

After an MRI scan picked up something “sinister” in his brain, he was referred to the Regional Neurosciences Centre at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle, where another MRI was carried out.

On February 14, 2018, he was told he had a grade 2 oligodendroglioma, which would need to be removed.

Emily, who works part-time as a cashier at supermarket in Newcastle, said: “It came as a huge shock to us all. My dad has always been so fit and healthy, hugely into exercise and he has always looked after his body. He used to run marathons and cycle more than 100 miles at a time. We couldn’t believe he’d been diagnosed with something so serious.”

Mr Purvis underwent a craniotomy on May 4, 2018, 11 weeks after his diagnosis.

The majority of the tumour was removed and the operation was followed by six weeks of daily radiotherapy, then six cycles of chemotherapy, which he finished at the end of April 2019.

Emily said: “When Dad was ill and receiving treatment it was a scary time for us all, as he would usually be the one making sure everybody else was OK. I remember visiting him in hospital after his brain surgery and I got such a shock seeing him so poorly, I actually passed out and ended up in A&E, as my blood pressure had dropped so low! Dad is now three years post-diagnosis and has good and bad days; mostly good at the moment, thankfully. He has regular scans, which have all shown that the remaining part of the tumour is behaving itself! His life has changed in so many ways; he had to surrender his driving licence, due to his seizures, and he is unlikely to be able to travel again. Despite this, we are so grateful that he is here and he continues to live a happy and fulfilled life.”

Inspired by her dad, Emily is now joining thousands of other fundraisers around the country by putting her best foot forward in February be completing 10,000 steps everyday.

To donate visit facebook.com/donate/402277761068885