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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

Rob Tillen

Professional DJ and keen rugby player, Rob Tillen, from Thornbury in South Gloucestershire, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in August 2021, after an optician sent him to A&E following a routine eye test. First suspected to have suffered a stroke, a CT scan revealed Rob had a mass in the left side of his brain and a biopsy later revealed it was a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), meaning his prognosis is a stark 12 to 18 months. Following successful surgery to remove the tumour, Rob underwent radiotherapy and is currently on chemotherapy to try to delay the inevitable regrowth of his tumour. His fiancée, Annabel, who Rob is due to marry this summer, is fundraising to help pay for costly private treatment overseas, in a bid to extend his life.  

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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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Linda Goode

Mother-of-three Linda Goode, an identical triplet from Lewes in East Sussex, started experiencing problems with her speech in October 2021. After several noticeable incidents in less than a week, she went to A&E where a CT scan revealed a mass on her brain. On her way home from a subsequent appointment, she suffered a seizure in the car and was given the anti-seizure medication Keppra. Over the next couple of weeks, she struggled to hold a conversation and developed a fear of talking after learning that doing so triggered her seizures, although increasing her medication helped. In November she underwent a biopsy and debulking surgery and in December she was formally diagnosed with a grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). The freelance PE teacher and advisor will be starting radiotherapy and chemotherapy in the New Year.

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All stories

Grace Kelly

When happy and healthy 11-year-old Grace Kelly went to the opticians for a regular check-up, she was not expecting to be referred to hospital. The optometrist spotted swelling behind her eyes, which led to Grace being sent for an MRI scan. Devastatingly, a small mass discovered on her brain was a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain tumour. Frustrated by the lack of treatment options in the UK, her family is now trying to crowdfund £200,000 to go to Germany for pioneering private treatment.

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Grace Thoburn

Grace and her husband-to-be bonded over the scars on their skull – she had gone through brain tumour surgery and he had a bone-anchored hearing aid fitted. They are now expecting their second child and, as a patient representative on the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission, Grace is helping to shape the future for patients.  Read more

Graham Wood

Pevensey dad Graham Wood, 35, was diagnosed with a grade 3 anaplastic astrocytoma five years ago. Having outlived his bleak prognosis of just three years, he is determined to make the most of every day with his wife Amber and their five-year-old son Reuben.

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Greg Dudley

IT manager Greg Dudley, from Runcorn in Cheshire, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in August 2019 after he was suddenly unable to write a coherent text message to his wife. His diagnosis came as a complete shock but it wasn’t the first time Greg’s family had been touched by the disease. His mum lived with a brain tumour for 20 years and after finally having surgery in 2009, she was left with life-altering effects and died from a stroke on Christmas Day 2013. Having been through gruelling treatment himself, Greg is beginning to feel better and is undertaking a physical challenge to raise money and awareness for Brain Tumour Research. 

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Greg Priddy

Father-of-two Greg Priddy was diagnosed with a brain tumour in November 2020. On Christmas Eve he found out it was cancerous and on New Year’s Eve he received the shocking news he had an inoperable primary brain CNS lymphoma (PCNSL). In January he started undergoing chemotherapy, although his start date was delayed due to the COVID-19 crisis, and then at the beginning of July he had a stem cell transplant. The 45-year-old now has an anxious wait to find out if his treatment has worked, during which time he has started taking part in a clinical trial at London’s Royal Marsden Hospital, which is conducting research into the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines on cancer patients.

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Gruff Crowther

Schoolboy Gruff Crowther was diagnosed with a brain tumour after minor but repeated difficulties with his eyesight. At the age of seven, he was the youngest patient to attend a reception at Speaker’s House, Westminster, in March 2016 when he joined the charity Brain Tumour Research in calling for more funding for the devastating disease. 

“We have been very open with Gruff right from the start, telling him right from day one that he has a tumour and that means a lump of badly behaved cells which are reproducing incorrectly. He is aware that there are different types of brain tumour and different types of cancer. While Gruff’s tumour is low-grade we mustn’t been fooled into thinking that means it is benign – we are aware that the rate of growth can accelerate and things can become problematic. Left untreated, Gruff’s tumour would definitely have caused more problems as it spread. So far, his scans have shown the tumour has reduced in size and, for now, things are looking positive.”
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Hannah King-Page

Thirty-nine-year-old Hannah King-Page from Meriden in the West Midlands kept her symptoms a secret for three months until she suffered a seizure at work in October 2020, forcing her to seek medical help to find out the cause. After deciding to go to Bristol Infirmary A&E, the now medically retired specialist musculoskeletal (MSK) and pain management physiotherapist, was given the devastating news that she had a mass on her brain. She later discovered it is the ‘worst-case scenario’; a grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). In November 2020, surgeons at University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) removed around half of the tumour and in June 2021 Hannah married her long-term partner, Andrew.

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Harry Mockett

Musician Harry Mockett, 20, from Northampton, was diagnosed with a craniopharyngioma in May 2018, after suffering from vision problems. The tumour damaged Harry’s pituitary gland and he developed life-threatening complications from the surgery he needed to save his life. Thankfully, with the support of parents Sue and Ian, and sister Rosie, Harry is now doing well and is looking forward to releasing his debut EP ‘H.I.M.’ in June 2019. Read more

Heather Turner

Heather was 24 when she was diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma, a low-grade brain tumour which caused partial hearing loss. The only treatment option was surgery but complications caused nerve damage leading to life-long difficulties including facial palsy and the loss of sight in one eye.  

 “It took me ten years to recover from the damage caused by surgery to remove my brain tumour. There have been times when I’ve wondered if life was still worth living. Although I have lost count of the number of operations I have had to make me look ‘normal’, I now feel as if the worst thing that ever happened to me has changed my life for the better.”
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Hilary Kingsley

Hilary Kingsley, 77, from Wimbledon, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2016 after experiencing symptoms which were initially put down to low blood pressure. She underwent surgery, followed by radiotherapy and now lives with the effects of her treatment. She is sharing her story of hope to show that there can be life after a brain tumour diagnosis.

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