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Key Workers

Wear A Hat Day 2021 – Celebrating Key Worker Families

For Wear A Hat Day 2021, we’re celebrating key worker families who have played a pivotal role throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and, despite having their own devastating brain tumour stories, are determined to show the positivity that is being involved in Wear A Hat Day.

These three amazing families below feature on our marketing posters, and fundraising champion Alex Pullen features in our radio adverts.

The Pullan Family

Teenager Alex Pullan, 18 years old and from Bury in Greater Manchester, appears on our marketing posters alongside five members of his family including his twin brother Matthew who is receiving chemotherapy for an astrocytoma brain tumour. The teenagers’ dad, Gary, and step mum, Claire, work as paramedics for Northwest Ambulance Service.

Alex has thrown himself into raising awareness and funds for research in support of his brother and family. Last year, he completed a daily 5km run throughout Matthew’s radiotherapy treatment, raising an astonishing amount of more than £15,000 for Brain Tumour Research. And Alex has done a fantastic job in lending his voice to this year’s all-new Wear A Hat Day radio adverts!

Find out more about Wear A Hat Day– do it for the families


The Nikjooy Family

GP registrar Naomi Nikjooy, her husband Aria, and their three-year-old son, Eliyas, from Sale in Greater Manchester, were photographed for our Wear A Hat Day campaign in late 2020.

Aria, working as a trainee paediatric doctor, was diagnosed with a grade 4 cerebellar medulloblastoma in November 2018, and very sadly died on 8th February 2021, aged 30. Aria underwent multiple brain surgeries, as well as radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

His latest recurrence came in July 2020 and resulted in a third brain operation and further treatment. Knowing he was facing a stark prognosis, Aria was determined to make a difference by getting involved in Wear A Hat Day alongside his family.

Find out more about Wear A Hat Day – do it for the families


The Shanley Family

Postman Matt Shanley, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2018, agreed to appear on our posters with his wife Julie, who works in the Thames Valley Police control room.

Soon after his diagnosis almost three years ago, Matt underwent surgery to remove what turned out to be a rare subependymoma brain tumour. The surgery has left him with life-changing effects, including sight loss, fatigue and memory problems. His seizures can be so severe he ends up in hospital.

However, Matt is thankful for his job as a postman in his home village of Cranfield in Bedfordshire. Matt and Julie are pleased to be able to promote awareness and encourage everyone to take part in Wear A Hat Day and raise vital funds for research.

Find out more about Wear A Hat Day – do it for the families


Photos by Venture Studios

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