A Croydon woman living with a brain tumour raised £7000 for a charity fighting her illness running the London Marathon, finishing in under five hours.

Rosie Kavanagh, 29, completed the 26 mile challenge alongside her fiancé Justin Barker, 30, in four hours and 41 minutes, representing The National Brain Appeal, a charity raising vital funds for the hospital where she underwent surgery five times in three years.

Her marathon success is latest step in her recovery since she was diagnosed with a tumour, said to be the size of an orange, in 2015.

“I couldn’t be more proud of Justin and I for completing the London Marathon," Rosie said.

"It was by far the best day of my life and I’ve been smiling from ear to ear since finishing.

"The atmosphere was just incredible. I have been there a few times to cheer the runners on but I had no idea how much it motivates you when you are running yourself.

"It was amazing. I have to say the last few miles were really tough but I loved every minute of it up until that point!

"I’m not sure when I’ll be able to walk up or down stairs again but it was so worth the pain!”

After experiencing headaches and dizziness she initially attributed to an ear infection, on the advice of her family Rosie visited hospital for an MRI scan four years ago.

The radiographer was unable to tell Rosie what they saw, sending her straight to A&E where doctors told her not to expect to leave hospital again.

From A&E she was referred to The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in Queen Square, London, the UK’s leading centre of excellence for treating diseases of the brain, spine and nervous system, the hospital that the charity raises vital funds for.

In the following years she had five major operations in total, two surgeries in 2015 to remove the bulk of the tumour, followed by two surgeries in 2017 to remove some regrowth, and one in 2018 to put a silicone implant where part of her skull had been removed.

In addition, she had Gamma Knife Radiosurgery in 2016 and 2018 in order to maintain the size of the tumour.

Rosie’s sister Hannah ran the London Marathon for The National Brain Appeal in 2017.

Rosie said: “Hannah was the same age as I am now when she did the marathon. It took her four and a half hours. I was so proud of her for doing this, it was a very emotional day.”

Hannah, dad Gerry and two of Rosie’s other sisters Amy and Laura were there to cheer her and Justin on, along with Amy’s three daughters Edie, Delilah and Alba.