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

Patient raising awareness after symptoms missed by doctors

A man whose life was saved by a free eye test has been sharing his story to help raise awareness of brain tumours.

Dan Horrocks was at university when he started to suffer from crippling headaches. His symptoms were variously misdiagnosed as an ear imbalance, a trapped nerve and depression. It was only after an optician identified pressure on Dan’s optic nerve and made an emergency referral to A&E that a scan identified a grade 3 ependymoma brain tumour.

Ten years on, Dan (pictured with his wife, Sonia) has had surgery three times and undergone radiotherapy. To mark his 30th birthday, he is helping to raise awareness of the disease. Dan’s story has been shared widely including on the Mirror Online, BirminghamLive, Nottingham Post and Express & Star.

He said: “My most recent treatment finished in November 2018 and while I continue to have check-ups things are good now. Although I know my tumour will probably come back at some stage, I am optimistic about the future. I have lived with the disease for ten years and have tried my best to enjoy my life.

“Prior to her death from a brain tumour three years ago, Dame Tessa Jowell did a great deal to highlight this awful disease and she certainly helped to fuel interest. I think it is a dreadful injustice that, historically, just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease particularly when it kills more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer.

“I hope that sharing my story will continue to highlight this injustice and that people who, like me, have unexplained symptoms continue to push for a diagnosis.” 

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