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National brain tumour research funding needs to increase to £30-35 million a year

Inspirational doctor marks end of treatment with 5K run in his garden – now wants to get back to work as GP

Today we are wishing a very happy 33rd birthday to Huw McCandless who is celebrating the occasion and the end of chemotherapy and radiotherapy with a 5K run around his garden.

GP Huw, who lives in Disley, Cheshire, underwent surgery in January to remove a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain tumour after suffering a seizure while at the wheel of his car on Boxing Day. He underwent an eight hour operation at Salford Hospital in January and was awake for five hours of that time so his speech and language function could be tracked to ensure the surgical team could remove as much of the tumour as possible without damaging healthy tissue.

And for the last six weeks Huw has been travelling to The Christie in Manchester for daily radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment and he is now setting his sights on getting back to work to help his NHS colleagues in the battle against coronavirus. Many patients with the type of tumour Huw has face a bleak prognosis, sometimes as little as a few months, but Huw is determined to remain positive.

“As a doctor I realised I had to think about what I would say to my patients and then to follow that advice myself. Being positive is so important, trying not to dwell on the negatives, getting exercise can have a huge impact on wellbeing as can doing the things you love – for me that is cooking and going out for walks with my wife Laura and our dog Dexter,” he said.

To mark his 33rd birthday today and the end of 30 sessions of treatment he will be running 5K in his garden and having a virtual birthday party with friends and family.

After a month off treatment, Huw hopes to be well enough to restart another course of high-dose chemotherapy which, this time, will last for six months.

“As a brain tumour patient on chemotherapy, I am classed as high-risk should I contract Covid-19 and I really hope that everyone will continue to heed the quarantine rules and stay at home so that people like me are at least able to get to hospital for the treatment they need,” he said.

After marking his birthday, Huw has two more goals in mind: one is to run a half marathon with his step-father Andrew Russell and the other is to get back to work. “As a GP I am extremely frustrated that I am unable to help patients and am keen to explore ways I can do this. I have been employed by the NHS for eight years and it is very difficult that now, of all times, I am unable to use my training and experience to help in the fight against coronavirus.”

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