AN Ellesmere Port mum-of-three who was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour three years ago is preparing to tackle a gruelling ultramarathon to raise money for two charities close to her heart.

Sara Crosland, 46, who runs a photography studio on Raddle Wharf, will be taking on the daunting 100km challenge in the Lake District in June.

She will be running with former Liverpool Ladies Football Club goalkeeper and fellow brain tumour survivor and charity ambassador, Danielle Gibbons.

The pair are fundraising for Brain Tumour Research and the British Acoustic Neuroma Association (BANA).

They have set themselves a target of raising £3,000 for the charities, as well as raising awareness of the cruel condition.

Back in 2018, having become extremely unwell, Sara was diagnosed with a rare Acoustic Neuroma brain tumour – also referred to as a Vestibular Schwannoma.

That April she suffered the uncommon complication of a haemorrhage and a month later underwent an eight-hour operation to remove the tumour.

Whilst the surgery was a success, Sara found herself permanently and profoundly deaf with no balance on one side, unable to walk and needing intensive vestibular rehabilitation therapy.

Despite still suffering with chronic fatigue and invasive tinnitus, she has been determined to overcome the many challenges her illness has presented.

Sara Crosland, right, and Danielle Gibbons outside Salford Royal where they both underwent surgery.

Sara Crosland, right, and Danielle Gibbons outside Salford Royal where they both underwent surgery.

Sara, who is married to Neil with whom she has three children – Olivia 22, Daniel 19 and Alex 17, said: "I’d been lying in a hospital bed, fully aware that the removal of my brain tumour would hopefully leave me with my life, but with no idea at what cost.

"Ten weeks later I was on the summit of Y Garn in Snowdonia, and 506 days later, I was summiting North Africa’s highest peak, Jebel Toubkal, at 4,167m.

“I hope that by sharing my story, it will help others realise that when bad things happen in life, we can use these experiences to give us the resilience we need to overcome obstacles and challenges in our way.

"The ultra marathon in particular, will be incredibly challenging, with one section being in the dark.

"My compromised balance means that moving around in the dark usually results in bouncing off walls and a few bruises!

"However, overcoming the physical and mental challenges I’ve faced over the last couple of years has shown me how much we are really capable of and just how far we can push ourselves."

Professor Simon Lloyd, consultant neurotologist and professor of otolaryngology, said of Sara: "Sara underwent surgery to remove a vestibular schwannoma under our team at Salford Royal Hospital.

"She has made an amazing recovery and has been a true inspiration to others since the surgery, in no small part because of her positive attitude and ability to keep going through adversity.

"She has clearly demonstrated that whilst this type of surgery can be challenging to recover from, with the right approach you can return to normal life.

"She is an amazing role model to those having to go through similar treatment. I am incredibly grateful to her for her enthusiasm and her positive outlook that has been of enormous benefit to others in similar circumstances."

Sara continues to share her experience with schools and businesses, and recently published a book.

'Sickbed to Summits' documents her remarkable journey through both triumph and disaster, as she details the treatment, life-threatening complications and an extraordinary recovery.