A grieving granddaughter from St Albans has set herself the target of running the London Marathon after her grandmother died of an aggressive brain tumour.

Teagan Ettienne Carr will take part in the 26.2-mile event on Sunday, April 21, in aid of the Brain Tumour Research charity.

The 23-year-old's Nanny Vanessa was once a teacher at London Colney's Bowmansgreen Primary School.

She was diagnosed with a brain tumour known as glioblastoma (GBM) in October 2020, after experiencing a metallic taste and suffering from absence seizures.

She underwent surgery, radiotherapy and three types of chemotherapy, but sadly passed away 16 months later, at the age of 65.

Herts Advertiser: Teagan's grandmother Vanessa.Teagan's grandmother Vanessa. (Image: Brain Tumour Research)

Teagan said: “Nanny and I were very close.

"There were only 44 years between us so she was like a second mum to me and we were the best of friends.

"To me she was perfect, the loveliest, kindest person, and so adventurous, creative, fun and intelligent.

“The treatment stopped her tumour growing for a while but a scan in August 2021 showed disease progression and she went downhill after that and her personality changed.

"It was like watching her suffer from cancer and dementia at the same time, with her declining physically as her brain slowly eroded.

Herts Advertiser: Teagan, an HR assistant from St Albans, who will complete the London Marathon.Teagan, an HR assistant from St Albans, who will complete the London Marathon. (Image: Brain Tumour Research)

"It was traumatising and I’m definitely still not over it.”

Teagan is not a natural runner, but was inspired by Vanessa’s determination to complete the Brain Tumour Research Walk of Hope in September 2021.

She continued: "I watched people run the marathon two months after Nanny died and thought it would be a lovely thing to do. I figured if she could do the Walk of Hope whilst she was dying, I should be able to run a marathon for her.

“I’m nervous as I hate running so completing a marathon is a scary prospect but I’m excited about doing it for Nanny.

"The day she died, I said I’d do everything I could to make her proud and this is my way of living up to that.”

The 23-year-old also spoke of witnessing her grandmother's decline, and how research can affect the future.

Herts Advertiser: Teagan and her grandmother, growing up.Teagan and her grandmother, growing up. (Image: Brain Tumour Research)

She added: “Having someone you love diagnosed with a brain tumour is like living with a dagger hanging over your head as you wait for it to drop.

“What my family went through was so awful I couldn’t imagine it happening to anyone else, but the harsh reality is people are suffering from brain tumours all the time. It needs to stop.

“The lack of investment in research makes me really angry. We have to do what we can to raise awareness and funds or else nothing will change and people will continue to die.”

A JustGiving page has also been started to raise money for the charity.

With a £3,000 target set by Teagan, £510 has been raised so far.


Carol Robertson, national events manager for Brain Tumour Research, commented: “With one in three people knowing someone affected by a brain tumour, Teagan’s story is, sadly, not unique.

“We’re determined to change this but we can’t do it alone. We’re really grateful for Teagan’s support and look forward to cheering her across the finish line in April.

"Together we will find a cure.”