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
Luke Webber had suffered with headaches and double vision for about a year before being diagnosed with a low-grade craniopharyngioma in 2020 at the age of 12. Now 15, Luke , from Stevenage in Hertfordshire, has undergone two surgeries and proton beam therapy, and is being monitored with regular scans. He has been left with a number of lifechanging chronic conditions.Read more
Anna Binks, 43, from East Yorkshire, had an MRI scan in 2010 after blood tests revealed high prolactin levels. The scan found a suspected low-grade glioma which doctors were happy to monitor with regular scans. Ten years later, the mum-of-two started suffering from headaches and dizzy spells. She had another scan which found she had a diffuse astrocytoma brain tumour. Anna’s son, Jacob, seven, has taken on Brain Tumour Research’s One Million Keepy Uppy Challenge along with his teammates at South Cave Under 8’s Blacks to help fund a cure.Read more
Matt Schlag, 44, from York, started getting regular migraines so severe they were affecting his behaviour. After concerns from his manager, Matt got an MRI scan which revealed an anaplastic astrocytoma brain tumour. Matt, dad to Reuben, two, and Anja, five, has gone through two operations, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. He’s now working with Brain Tumour Research and raised £3,000 after successfully completing the London to Brighton cycle ride in September 2022.Read more
Since Ali was diagnosed with a brain tumour and epilepsy in April 2005, she has faced life with a smile despite the ups-and-downs of her illness. Having a great support network around her – in particular her dog Harry, who was able to sense the onset of her seizures – she has taken everything in her stride. Now she has participated in an indoor skydive to help fund research into the disease.
“The 13 years that have passed since my diagnosis have been full of ups-and-downs but I am determined to beat each challenge and keep living my life to the full. I’m in a battle with my tumour and choose to use positive mental attitude, good humour and determination to keep on smiling.”Read more
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.Read more
When Alison, from Seaton in Devon, first heard voices and buzzing she thought this could be a sign of epilepsy or hormone related. But, as the episodes became more frequent she was referred to Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital where an MRI scan showed a mass on her brain. Alison was diagnosed with an astrocytoma and has since had three operations and undergone gruelling radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment. She shares her experience of living and working with a brain tumour and hopes to encourage others who have been diagnosed, demonstrating that, for some patients, it is possible to lead a fulfilling life after diagnosis.Read more
Talented artist Amanda Day had always been top of the class and was hardworking at school, but when her health began to deteriorate, she started to fall behind. After struggling for months to get to the root of her symptoms, Amanda was diagnosed with a small pilocytic astrocytoma in her brainstem. Now, she is left with irreversible and long-term effects of the radiation treatment she had four years ago. She is coming to terms with the fact she may never achieve her aspirations of going to university, owning a home and having a child.
“It frustrates me that most of my symptoms are due to the radiotherapy treatment I had four years ago, as opposed to the tumour itself. The treatment has left me with long-term symptoms, such as short-term memory loss and confusion, which will get worse over time. It has had a devastating impact on my education and daily life is a big struggle.”Read more
Amanda StevensFreelance training consultant Amanda Stevens, 42, was diagnosed with a grade 2 meningioma in June 2016, after suffering from persistent headaches. She married her partner of 24 years, Ian, nine months after her diagnosis and thought she’d seen the back of her illness when, in August 2018, her tumour recurred. Now, five months on from a gruelling 11-hour operation, Amanda is doing well and is keen to help raise awareness by holding a fundraising ball on Wear A Hat Day. Read more
Teenager Amber Hanna, from Belfast, suffered from migraines for as long as she could remember. After several years of going back and forth to the doctor to try find the cause, her brain tumour diagnosis eventually came in February 2020, when her tumour burst and she was rushed to hospital having suffered a serious haemorrhage. Amber, 17, went on to have brain surgery to remove the low-grade tumour and is now, finally, on the road to recovery.Read more
Sales Manager Amy Drummond was just 13 years old when she began to experience small seizures and memory loss while studying for her GCSEs. After visiting numerous doctors in a bid to find out what was wrong with her, she was finally diagnosed with a rare type of brain tumour. Fortunately, Amy was able to have the tumour removed by surgery, but the tumour took its toll on her being able to enjoy teenage life too. Now, as she heads towards the milestone of turning 30, Amy is determind to not let her past affect her future.
“I have always been open with people about what I went through as a teenager and how it changed me as a person. Looking back, I missed out on school, socialising, dating, playing sport and even making friends. I would even say my brain tumour robbed me of my teenage years.”Read more
Amy was on honeymoon when she first experienced symptoms she later discovered were being caused by a brain tumour. Initially dismissed as an ear infection, her headaches were being caused by an acoustic neuroma. Treatment was initially delayed by her pregnancy and then once more during the coronavirus pandemic. Amy is now post-surgery, recovering well and waiting to hear what the future will bring.Read more
In September, three-year-old Anastasia Ogden, of Hailsham in East Sussex, was diagnosed with a fast-growing form of brain cancer known as atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumour (ATRT). After an emergency CT scan revealed her tumour was bleeding, causing it to expand and suffocate her brain, she underwent a life-saving surgery, where more than 90% of it was removed. It took her almost three weeks to come round fully and appease fears that she could have been left brain damaged. She has had two further surgeries to treat hydrocephalus, including one to have a shunt placed, and is now undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Fit and healthy Andi Peel, 29, from Groby in Leicestershire, started getting headaches in August 2019. His GP said he had migraines but then Andi had an episode of confusion and a panic attack, and he couldn’t remember anything. He went to hospital but was told that it was just stress. In January 2020, Andi’s headaches became so severe that he returned to hospital and had an MRI scan which revealed he had a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain tumour. The tumour was removed, and Andi underwent radiotherapy and chemotherapy, but he has been told there is no other treatment available for him. He is now totally blind.Read more