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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

Sara Crosland

On 20 February 2018, 44-year-old Sara Crosland’s life changed in unimaginable ways, when she was diagnosed with a 3.5cm acoustic neuroma, or vestibular schwannoma – a low grade brain tumour that affects around one in 100,000 people. Following a haemorrhage and major brain surgery that left her unable to walk, with impaired vision and balance, as well as permanent profound hearing loss, she has been focused on getting back everything the tumour took away from her, and much more. Eighteen months post-surgery and the active mother-of-three from Ellesmere Port is now accomplishing more than she ever thought possible.  Read more

Damon Bowles

It's been just over a year since 49-year-old dad-of-two, Damon Bowles, received treatment for a low-grade acoustic neuroma brain tumour. It's a non-cancerous growth that presses on the nerves leading from the inner ear to the brain and can affect your hearing and balance. 

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Maria Watson

Maria Watson, 27, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2013, after experiencing severe headaches and sensitivity to light and sound. The health food shop supervisor, originally from the Greek island of Crete, was left in a ‘watch and wait’ (active monitoring) situation until 2017, when she began waking up in the night, suffering with extreme pain and temporary hearing loss. 

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All stories

Kerri Parker

Kerri Parker, from Dereham, Norwich runs The Kerri Parker Model Academy helping thousands of aspiring models start out or further their modelling careers. Kerri herself is an award-winning model and has competed in pageants around the world. She was diagnosed with two different types of brain tumour during the winter of 2013 just before her 30th birthday.  Read more

Kevin Pemberton

When Wolverhampton dad-of-two Kevin Pemberton, 38, began suffering from sinus problems, he never imagined a brain tumour was the root of his symptoms. Having faced debulking surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy since his diagnosis in April 2019, Kevin is now back at work as a management accountant. While coming to terms with the fact his illness is incurable, Kevin is trying to keep life as normal as possible for his wife Michelle and their two daughters, 11-year-old Jasmine and Sofia, six.

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Kian Jones

The life of schoolboy Kian Jones was saved by his mother’s determination to pursue an accurate diagnosis of her son’s headaches and sickness. Trainee nurse Sabina’s relentless demands for a brain scan proved her instincts were correct. Kian’s condition was life threatening and he underwent emergency surgery. He is now settling back into “normal” life. Read more

Kirsty Barton

Just three weeks after starting her new job, Kirsty Barton, 28, was diagnosed with a brain tumour. The mum-of-two endured surgery in May 2019 which removed most of the tumour and now she is doing well. Kirsty’s diagnosis made her realise how precious life can be and she hopes that other patients will be inspired by her story.

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Laura Liver

After experiencing hot flushes and dizzy spells, 29-year-old Laura Liver thought she was coming down with virus, however she received the devastating news that she had a brain tumour. After undergoing invasive surgery and treatment over the last 18 months to control the growth of the tumour, Laura is determined to make the most of life and enjoy every precious moment as she heads towards her milestone 30th birthday.

“With Marc and my mum and dad by my side we were shown my scans and I let out a gasp. There was a black mass, the size of an apple, on the left-hand side of my brain and it was then the consultant confirmed it was definitely a tumour. I just remember mum crying next to me as Marc held my hand.”

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Leah Martin

Leah was diagnosed with a high-grade medulloblastoma brain tumour at the age of two. She has undergone several operations and a gruelling regime of high-dose chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Now at pre-school, Leah has long-term side effects including problems with her speech and mobility.

“Our little girl was so diminished by the treatment that I pleaded with her consultant not to go ahead with the last two sessions. I felt I could no longer put her through the daily ordeal of a general anaesthetic, of being taken from my arms and laid down on what seemed to me to be a cold slab, and pinned down by a face mask. In the end, I felt we had to trust the doctors and Leah did complete the course of 31 sessions over six weeks. For Leah it was normality and she probably assumed everyone did it; it was worse for us.”
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Lily Hawkins

Lily’s Mum, Lorraine is a trained and experienced midwife, but nothing could prepare her for the day when her six-year-old daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumour, many months after she first started displaying worrying signs which were repeatedly dismissed by doctors. Now Lorraine is determined to raise awareness particularly of the symptoms of brain tumours to ensure that patients are given the earliest possible diagnosis. Read more

Lisa Brassington

Since being diagnosed with a brain tumour in February 2011, Lisa has decided to live life to the full. She has been skiing, is learning to sail, is taking acting classes and has even been on TV as an extra in Emmerdale. The location of her low-grade oligodendroglioma brain tumour meant it could not be fully removed by surgery. A recurrence of the tumour meant Lisa was back on treatment in the early part of 2017.

“During my brain operation, I played on an iPad so the surgeons could see how what they were doing affected my eyesight, speech and recognition. The location of my tumour meant it could not be fully removed and now my ‘loft lodger’ as I call it is growing. The prognosis I have been given is to expect to live for three to five years but this is just statistics and something which I do not dwell on. There are so many things I would like to do and I have decided to live life.”
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Lisa Kent

Lisa’s life was turned upside down when she was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Her tumour, a grade 1 ganglioglioma, was discovered when she was 32, though doctors suspected it had been growing since she was a child. Lisa, from Nuneaton, suffered complications from her surgery in 2004 and now 47, lives with a permanent shunt to drain the fluid in her brain. Alongside dealing with her illness, Lisa also had to come to terms with the loss of her mum and grandad, but is grateful for the support network around her.

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Lisa Meenan

Lisa was just 21 when she was diagnosed with a brain tumour. The shock news came as she and her family were coming to terms with the loss of a seven-year-old cousin to the same disease. Lisa underwent surgery and treatment, went on to graduate with a degree in architecture and took up Bollywood dancing a few years ago.

“In a way, being diagnosed with a brain tumour has been the worst thing and the best thing that has ever happened to me. I have had such a happy ending to my brain tumour story but nobody knows what is around the corner or down the road. I have learned that you can’t assume you will live until you are in your 80s or 90s and facing your mortality at such a young age is life-changing. It has taken time to come to terms with these experiences; I am now able to accept this as part of my life’s journey.”
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