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Daughter raises thousands in memory of Hampstead celebrity fitness trainer Nicki Waterman

PUBLISHED: 12:08 09 February 2017 | UPDATED: 12:28 09 February 2017

Alex Thrussell in training for the London Marathon to raise money for Brain Tumour Research

Alex Thrussell in training for the London Marathon to raise money for Brain Tumour Research

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The mum-of-two is taking on two charity challenges in two months, after losing her mum to a brain tumour last year

Alex with her mum, Nicki WatermanAlex with her mum, Nicki Waterman

Alex Thrussell, 32, will run the London Marathon in April to raise funds for charity Brain Tumour Research, just weeks after cycling 187 miles around Kerala, India.

Her mum Nicki Waterman was a regular runner on Hampstead Heath and her celebrity clients included Kelly Brook, Denise van Outen, Rachel Hunter and girl band All Saints and she was also a fitness columnist with The Sun.

Specialised immunotherapy treatment helped extend her life after she was diagnosed with a rare and inoperable brain tumour, which allowed her to see her son marry and spend time with her grandchildren.

Nicki’s tumours initially shrunk after receiving the treatment, but she died in August 2016, just 15 months after her diagnosis.

The Just Giving page for the Nicki Waterman foundation has already raised almost £16,000.

Her daughter Alex will take part in the Nicki Waterman Kerala Challenge in March with her late mum’s close friend, Denise van Outen, where they will be joined by family, celebrity friends and two dedicated brain tumour campaigners.

The team will be cycling up to 50 miles each day in southern India for the five-day challenge during Brain Tumour Awareness Month.

Alex said: “Mummy just wanted to help everyone, but there was very little anyone could do for her when she was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Brain tumours like hers are so aggressive and we don’t have effective treatments to offer patients. She inspired me to follow in her footsteps and continue campaigning with the charity Brain Tumour Research.”

Close family friends Sacha Isaacs from Belsize Park and Shiarra Bell from Crouch End will also be running the Marathon.

Sacha said: “Nicki and I met on Hampstead Heath which we shared a love of. When I think of her, I think of her irrepressible courage and bravery. She was determined and positive with a twinkle in her eye. I called her “lion heart”.

“I’m running for this charity to honour Nicki’s memory and to show support to her brave and amazing daughter Alex.”

Shiarra added: “Last year my beautiful and bravest of friends, Nicki, was taken from us by this terrible cancer. If ever there was a ray of light it was her. The strength and bravery she showed us all in the face of her illness was inspirational and awesome. I miss her and our runs. Life is just not the same without her.

“She asked me to run this marathon for her charity and so here I am hoping for some of her strength and light to make it to that finish line. I know she’ll be cheering me on every step.”

Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, but just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to the disease, according to charity Brain Tumour Research.

– To make a donation, go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Nicki-Waterman-Foundation or text NICKI to 70660 to donate £5.

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