Stephen Realf

Journalist Maria Lester’s moving account of her brother Stephen’s brain tumour battle was first published in the Mail on Sunday’s YOU magazine*, a year after he passed away in August 2014 at the age of 26. She launched an e-petition which quickly attracted thousands of signatures and became the first to prompt an inquiry by the new House of Commons Petitions Committee.

“Stephen packed more into the six years after his diagnosis than most people do in 86. But he couldn’t keep fighting forever. By the time his 26th birthday came around he was in a wheelchair. He went into a rapid decline, losing his ability to speak, eat or even get out of bed. I don’t like to dwell on those final few weeks, as that’s not the Stephen I remember. To me, he will be forever dashing, forever dignified, forever beaming that beautiful big smile.” Stephen’s sister Maria tells his story…

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