A dad-of-two found out he had a brain tumour when he could not figure out how to do a jigsaw puzzle with his young son.

Superfit Craig Leach, from Witney, ran the Oxford Half Marathon in October 2021 and was hoping to run his first full marathon in 2022.

But last March at the age of 35, Craig started having excruciating headaches and vomiting.

It was initially diagnosed as migraine and he was sent away with paracetomol.

But his wife Janin said: “The tip of the iceberg was him helping our lovely little then three-year-old son Luca with a puzzle.

"I thought he was joking when he kept putting the pieces in the wrong places but he genuinely had no idea how to complete the puzzle.

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“So I dragged him back to the GP where we were seen by a lovely doctor who finally listened to all our concerns and referred him for a consultation and CT scan."

Janin, mum to Luca, three, and Rory, 11 months, said: “We had only just found out that we were expecting baby number two and the consultant was certain this created some form of stress and anxiety for Craig.

“Craig is an incredibly loving and involved father so we were sure that this was not the case so we pushed for the CT scan.”

The following morning Craig received a call, asking him to come straight back to the hospital.

“Once we arrived and Craig got admitted came the shock that changed our lives," said Janin.

"We were told that he had a brain tumour the size of a fist. The doctors that had seen his scans were surprised that he was able to walk and talk and he was advised that he needed a craniotomy immediately.”

The incredibly risky operation took place in May and he was released from hospital three days later.

However, the biopsy revealed his tumour is a grade 3 astrocytoma for which the prognosis is ‘bleak’.

On average patients his age will only survive for three to five years from diagnosis.

“In Craig’s case this means he will be lucky if he sees his 40th birthday - something I simply can't bear to even think about,” said Janin.

Craig had another operation to fit a shunt followed by six weeks of daily radiation and 12 rounds of gruelling chemotherapy  which finally finished in September 2023.

Janin said: “We were excited for the prospect of our life returning to somewhat normal with less hospital appointments and being able to plan our immediate future.

“But then our hopes for a future together got crushed a second time. The chemotherapy has not worked and Craig’s tumour has grown back.”

She added: “We are currently waiting for an appointment for a second craniotomy, which will be even longer and riskier than the last one and we are incredibly scared."

Following that Craig will need more chemotherapy but this treatment is not as effective as the initial regimen in most patients and there are currently there are no other treatments available on the NHS, Janin explained.

The family has now started to look into alternative treatments and Janin has launched a Go Fund Me to raise money for an immunotherapy treatment in Germany where she was born and grew up.

The immunotherapy will use Craig’s own blood and cells of his tumour to create a personalised vaccine that can teach his immune system to attack the tumour.

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For the first year the vaccines are injected every month and then less frequently after.

Private insurance won't cover the treatment and it is not available on the NHS in the UK.

Janin said: “The cost for the first year of treatment alone is estimated around £100,000 and in addition to this will be the cost of travelling to Germany each month to access it.

“We can’t possibly afford this on our own and I really want to be able to tell my children that we have done everything to keep their daddy with us for as long as possible.

“So please help us in any way you can, big or small to reach our goal and secure his treatment.

"Thank you from the bottom of our hearts."