Family member to run London Marathon in memory of Suffolk director who worked with Robert De Niro

Sam Stonehouse, who is running the London Marathon for Brain Tumour Research. Picture: SUPPLIED BY F

Sam Stonehouse, who is running the London Marathon for Brain Tumour Research. Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY - Credit: Archant

The death of a renowned Suffolk film director from a brain tumour has prompted a relative to run the London Marathon to raise funds to help find a cure for the disease.

Adrian with Sean Bean on the set of Age of Heroes. Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

Adrian with Sean Bean on the set of Age of Heroes. Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY - Credit: Archant

Sam Stonehouse is dedicating his run to Adrian Vitoria, who died in November 2016 at the age of 48 after losing his battle with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) – an incurable brain tumour.

Adrian, whose family live in Suffolk, had worked on television soaps including Casualty, Brookside, Hollyoaks and The Bill before working with big names such as Robert De Niro and Sean Bean in Hollywood.

Sam, 27, from Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, is hoping to raise £3,500 for the pioneering charity Brain Tumour Research which funds a network of centres of excellence where scientists are focused on improving outcomes for patients and, ultimately, finding a cure.

“As my family will attest, I have never been much of a long distance runner,” said Sam.

Adrian's 'selfie' with mum and sister Simonetta. Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

Adrian's 'selfie' with mum and sister Simonetta. Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY - Credit: Archant

“I’m more accustomed to charging into someone on a rugby pitch or sprinting around a squash court than jogging for hours on end.


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“I’ve run a half marathon in the past but this is a different type of challenge for me.

“Over the past couple of years my wife Laura and I have seen our families deeply affected by brain tumours. Adrian, who was the brother of my stepmother Simonetta Stonehouse, was a brilliant film director with a shining future ahead and my wife lost a close family friend who left behind a husband, two sons and a very successful career.”

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Simonetta, who lives in Lavenham, said: “Adrian’s final project was the short film Leni, Leni, about the German filmmaker and Nazi propagandist Leni Riefenstahl played by Hildegard Neil.

“He was working with his friend, the writer, Alistair Audley but, although they were close, even Alistair wasn’t truly aware of how serious things were.

“People just aren’t aware of how cruel this disease is. It was torture for me to watch as Adrian, who spent his last few months in Suffolk, was robbed of his mobility and his faculties, especially as she was such a great communicator. He became bedridden, unable to even lift his head. It was an agonisingly slow decline as my brother became locked-in as the tumour grew.”

To make a donation to Brain Tumour Research via Sam’s JustGiving page, visit www.justgiving.com/S-STONEHOUSE1

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