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Family’s London Marathon effort in memory of relative who died suddenly from brain tumour

A Leicestershire duo are set to run London Marathon in memory of their brother and son, who died suddenly from a brain tumour.

Joe Diamond and stepdad Tony Palmieri will tackle the iconic race on Sunday (April 21)– a year after losing Louie, 18, to an undiagnosed brain tumour. The pair from Loughborough, will be using the run to raise funds for The Brain Tumour Charity.

Leicester Time: Family's London Marathon effort in memory of relative who died suddenly from brain tumour
Tony and Joe

Louie, 18, was a first-year student at Lincoln University, studying architecture and loving student life. After he started to experience headaches, and balance issues, he had some initial medical tests. But last March, before more tests could be carried out, Louie started to feel faint, and had pins and needles while watching TV one Friday evening. After coming in and out of consciousness, he was rushed to hospital. On arrival at Lincoln County Hospital, it was discovered that he had dangerous pressure on his brain. He was transferred to Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, for specialist neurological care, but tragically passed away just three days later.  

Louie’s family are passionate about raising better awareness of brain tumour symptoms and have thrown themselves into fundraising for The Brain Tumour Charity since he died. 

Joe, a Senior Partnership Manager at Aston Martin Formula One, said: “Louie was very fit and loved his gym work and playing football – he was in great shape. Although he was having tests for his balance issues, at no point did we suspect he might have a brain tumour. 

“He was a bright, funny and incredibly loved member of our family, and a shining light in the lives of all who were lucky enough to meet him. 

Leicester Time: Family's London Marathon effort in memory of relative who died suddenly from brain tumour
Picture: Louie

“Louie was an incredibly generous and kind hearted person. He volunteered with younger kids at football coaching and was incredible with customers at the family’s café, Casa Café, in Loughborough. He was always ready to help people and was wise beyond his years.

“While our hearts remain broken, we made the choice as a family to raise funds and awareness because we know, if this had happened to anyone else, Louie would be the first person at the start line, ready to get involved.” 

Although no stranger to running – he completed the London Marathon in 2018 – Joe has been training hard since his marathon place was confirmed. His job in Formula One takes him all over the world, and therefore Joe has had to complete many of his training runs while away on the Grand Prix circuit. But his team mates have thrown themselves behind his fundraising efforts. In Bahrain earlier this year, 30 colleagues joined him for a sponsored track run.

Joe said: “I’ve always run casually, two or three times a week. I’d not describe myself as a marathon runner, although I have completed it once before.  

“I’m apprehensive and excited about the race. I know how great the atmosphere is going to be.  

“Doing the marathon in memory of Louie is going to be hugely emotional. Our hearts are in this one.” 

Louie’s dad – and Joe’s step dad, Tony – is not a runner, however he too has been training hard with his sister, Louie’s aunt Giulia, who is also running the marathon in his memory.  

Leicester Time: Family's London Marathon effort in memory of relative who died suddenly from brain tumour
Picture: Joe, Louie and sister Ellie

Thoughts of Louie will keep all three motivated through all those tough miles. Joe explained: 

“Taking on the marathon for Louie is helping us as a family – it’s really important to us all. 

“When tragic things like this happen I think it’s human nature to try and turn something from a bad experience into a positive.  

“When Louie died, we made the decision to offer his organs for donation.  It’s been comforting to know that his organs helped save another life. It’s something positive in a big sea of heartbreak. 

“We are doing this because we would like to save just one family from going through what we have.”  

Fundraising is going very well. Joe and Tony have already raised over £6,000, surpassing their original £5,400 target.

To donate to the cause, visit: