Raising awareness for brain injuries charity

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A businessman is running this year’s London Marathon for brain injury charity Headway in memory of his partner’s brother who died last year, 11 years after suffering head injuries in a car crash.

Stephen Oakenfull, who part-owns a plastics company, said: “Headway is a fantastic cause.

Ian Williams

Ian Williams

“It’s also a cause very close to my partner’s family’s heart and my heart.”

His partner Karen Williams, who also intended to run before being ruled out by an ankle injury, added: “There are so many people out there living with head injuries, and yet the general public knows very little about what a head injury really involves.”

Karen’s brother Ian Williams died in June last year, as a result of a car crash in June 2003.

Mr Williams, of Billesdon, sustained a serious head injury in a four-vehicle crash on the A47 Uppingham Road in Skeffington.

At the time of the crash, which an inquest heard was not his fault, Mr Williams was aged 28. The inquest was told that from then until his death 11 years later, aged 39, he was dependant on other people for all aspects of his care.

A coroner ruled that Mr Williams had “died from recognised complications of his condition”.

London Marathon-bound Mr Oakenfull, who lives in Middleton, east of Market Harborough, said he was now running about 30 miles a week while training for the big race in April.

The 46-year-old said: “We’re all looking forward to making a bit of a family occasion of it.

“Ian himself was a really keen runner, and a cross-country champion at school and in the Army.”

Mr Oakenfull has a fundraising website.

To sponsor him, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/giving/ and type in Stephen Oakenfull’s name.

Mr Oakenfull’s website says: “For 11 years Ian’s parents dedicated their lives to caring for him and giving him the love he needed.”

Mr Oakenfull adds that the task “was made slightly easier by the incredible, tireless work of Headway”.

Find out more about Headway at www.headway.org.uk.