Together we will find a cure Donate
Together we will find a cure Donate

In Hope

Just 1% of the national research spend has been allocated to this devastating disease

The diagnosis of a brain tumour is devastating, however there is hope. We have been fortunate to meet some very brave people who have survived to tell the tale and who want to share their story to give hope to others.

Recently published stories

Julie Baker

Julie Baker, 50, from Port Askaig on the Isle of Islay, was fit and very active in her community. The mum-of-three showed no signs of anything untoward, so when she had a seizure in November 2021, it came as a big shock. She was taken to hospital but was sent home after three days. Julie was not feeling right and went to see her GP who sent her to a different hospital for an MRI scan which revealed she had three meningioma brain tumours. In February 2022, Julie underwent surgery to have the largest tumour removed. Since then, she has suffered a number of infections, and she has also had temporary paralysis down her left-hand side.

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Alison Goodrum

Alison was diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma at the age of 44 after suffering with headaches for many years. They gradually became worse until she was also having to cope with blurred vision, vomiting, exhaustion and even pain when walking. Alison’s diagnosis only came about after being sent for an emergency hospital appointment by an optician and her refusing to believe that all was fine after undergoing a range of tests, leading to her having an MRI scan. 

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Tina Cranshaw

Tina Cranshaw, 51, from Doncaster, was on an online work call during the coronavirus lockdown in September 2020 when her colleagues noticed that her face drooped and she was slurring her words. Tina, step-mum to Daisy, 16, Theo, nine, Imogen, 28, and Abbie, 31, was taken to hospital where an MRI scan confirmed a mass on her brain. Tina underwent an operation to remove the tumour, a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), and she was told she had just six to 12 months to live. In December 2021, Tina’s step-daughter, Daisy Cranshaw, 16, from Middlesborough, was also diagnosed with a brain tumour after suddenly getting strong headaches. Fortunately, medics say it’s not life-threatening and they don’t need to operate on it.

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All stories

Emma Crabtree

Emma Crabtree, 49, from Skipton in North Yorkshire started getting headaches at work and had problems with her coordination in 2009. When she lost the feeling on her left-hand side a stroke was suspected, but doctors assured her that nothing was wrong. When Emma’s headaches intensified, her mum insisted that she be given an MRI scan. The scan revealed she had a grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain tumour and she was given just 12-18 months to live. Twelve years on, Emma is defying the odds.

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Esmai Wright-Stanford

Baby Esmai Wright-Stanford, from Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, was just seven months old when she was diagnosed with an anaplastic ependymoma tumour. Her shock diagnosis finally came after several trips back and forth to A&E and feeling like she wasn’t being taken seriously. Now Esmai’s mum Chloe wants to share her daughter’s story to help campaign for better research into detecting and treating childhood brain cancer.

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Esmé Lambert

The youngest of four children (big brother Jordan is 16, Lillie, eight, and Sienna, five) Esmé, now three, was diagnosed with a rare high-grade form of ependymoma whilst still just one year old. GPs had previously diagnosed a sickness bug or urinary tract infection. Esmé underwent major surgery and completed a gruelling 19 months of chemotherapy.

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Evie-Mai Smith

Six-year-old Evie-Mai Smith was being investigated for possible dyspraxia as a result of constant bumps and falls when her brain tumour was discovered in March 2021. The youngster, from Lowestoft, Suffolk, was eventually diagnosed with a low-grade cystic pineal tumour and underwent brain surgery on 28 September, during which 95% of it was removed. She is now being monitored with regular scans but hospital visits aren’t easy as her experience has left her with such severe anxiety that she now has to be sedated before an MRI.

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Faith Speakes

Aged 26, Faith Speakes’ life was on the way up. She was looking forward to marrying her fiancé Luke and starting a family soon after, but things were thrown off track when she was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Just weeks after walking down the aisle, Faith was in theatre to have a meningioma removed and a few months later she was found to have a second tumour. Despite it all, she is excited for what’s to come and feels her life has changed for the better. Read more

Finlay Niles

Two-year-old Finlay was finally diagnosed with a high-grade brain tumour after his mother repeatedly pestered health professionals saying she knew something was wrong with her son. He underwent surgery and is currently on chemotherapy. Finlay is doing well and his parents are trying to stay positive although they have been told that just 20% of patients survive beyond five years.

“I need to stay positive for Finlay, he is not a statistic, he is my son. Finlay is the most loving little boy and a true inspiration to us and everyone who meets him. He is our little soldier and continues to amaze us every day with his bravery and strength. It’s easy to sit back and think something like this won’t happen to you but it does, I am living proof of that, it has happened to our little boy. For this reason we all really do need to raise more funds and awareness to help fund the fight against brain tumours for all those amazing people, like Finlay, who are fighting. Hopefully, one day we will find a cure.”

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Flora Bouchier

Flora had just started studying for A-levels when she began to experience strange feelings of nausea, hot flushes and partial seizures. She was finally diagnosed with a low-grade brain tumour in February 2016 and underwent surgery because of worsening epilepsy. Despite suffering from post-operative depression, she gained a university place to study chemical engineering. Now, two years since her surgery, she feels extremely lucky and is determined to change misconceptions about brain tumours amongst her peers.

“Looking back at my experience, I often realise how lucky I am. I’m fortunate that it all went well and I’m living more or less normally. The situation forced me to grow up and mature more quickly and I now understand the value of life. I can see how fragile and unpredictable it can be and I’m definitely more positive. Small issues that used to get to me don’t really matter now in the grand scheme of things.”

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Franco Pietrantonio

In August 2016, Wenna and Franco Pietrantonio were getting over a turbulent year. After the premature birth of their twin girls, who were in and out of hospital for their first year with various health complications, they faced another battle. In October, Franco was diagnosed with a large, presumed low-grade glioma after suffering a seizure in August. The father-of-three endured brain surgery to remove his tumour just a few days before Christmas which, thankfully, has since shown no re-growth. Now he requires yearly MRI scans and he and Wenna live with a new sense of vulnerability, knowing full well that life can turn upside down in an instant.

“Over the phone, the consultant said that Franco had a large tumour, presumed to be a low-grade glioma. To us, this was of little significance; we didn’t understand the diagnosis but instantly thought it would kill him. The diagnosis was a complete bombshell and it was awful. We tried to be strong and put on a brave face but personally, I felt very alone. Suddenly, I was on my own, looking after my family, and it was up to me to keep it together.”

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Francoise Shelton

Francoise was 47 when she was diagnosed with a brain tumour.  She and her family had noticed some big personality changes prior to her falling unconscious. Francoise owes her recovery to the care and support she received from her children who were 20, 18 and 15 years old at the time.  Read more

Freyja Hanstein

Freyja Hanstein was enveloped by grief after losing her husband to abdominal cancer just a month after they were married. Within a year she was fighting her own battle with the disease and underwent surgery to remove a brain tumour. She has now developed the app WholesomeWorld bringing together scientific and lifestyle information designed for patients and those supporting them through treatment.

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