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
Phoebe Frances Brown
In 2018, actor Phoebe Frances Brown was diagnosed with an incurable tumour in the area of her brain that controls speech, language and memory. The 28-year-old from Nottinghamshire originally thought her symptoms, which included headaches and tiredness, were caused by a busy stint performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. However, when her symptoms progressed, she was given an MRI scan, which revealed a large tumour on the left side of her brain. Despite going through surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, Phoebe has continued to forge a successful career on the stage. She is about to star in her own one-woman show, which tells the story of finding herself in the bleakest of times and of discovering gladness in the saddest of moments.Read more
Toddler Harry Crick, from Elmswell in Suffolk, was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour in December 2020, after he became unwell with a cold and was unsteady on his feet. His tumour is classified as grade 4, meaning that it is very aggressive, with a devastating prognosis of just 12 months. The inspiring two-year-old has undergone two brain surgeries and gruelling chemotherapy in an attempt to keep the tumour at bay. More recently, Harry and his family travelled to Essen in Germany, where the brave tot received proton beam therapy, to try to give him the best possible chance of survival.Read more
Digital product owner Nayfil Hussein, from West London, has suffered from bad headaches since her teens. The 32-year-old, who grew up in Luton, Bedfordshire, always thought they were related to her menstrual cycle. It was only after Nayfil became very unwell during a trip to Greece in 2019 that she knew something much more serious was wrong. Eventually, she was diagnosed with a medulloblastoma tumour, which has been treated with gruelling surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. After experiencing punishing side effects from her treatment regime, Nayfil is finally feeling stronger and healthier and is now planning to do a charity walk to raise money for Brain Tumour Research.Read more
Yardley schoolboy Bobby Humphries was two years old when he was diagnosed with a large brain tumour. He underwent life-threatening surgery and chemotherapy when just a toddler. Sadly, Bobby’s tumour recurred and he had to go through another 18 months of chemotherapy. Now six, Bobby, a keen Birmingham City Football Club fan, has recently started the new school year and his parents Georgina and Aaron are taking each day as it comes.Read more
Bradley was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour at the age of three and underwent radiotherapy. Apart from headaches, his life continued as normal until he was 18 and had to be flown home by air ambulance while on holiday for a surgical procedure to help relieve pressure building up in his head. Then at the age of 23, following a massive seizure, he had a 10-hour operation to attempt to remove the ‘inoperable’ brain tumour. Miraculously, the neuro-surgeons succeeded in removing 95% of the tumour. In the years since his surgery, Bradley has worked hard on his rehabilitaton and now, aged 29, can walk almost perfectly, although he is waiting to have Botox to help regain movement in his right hand.
“My neuro-consultant was becoming very concerned, but he still didn’t want to take the risk of trying to remove the tumour, due to its dangerous position and the risks of life-changing consequences. However, one day I had a massive seizure and the doctors were unable to bring me round. The pressure had built up to a dangerously high level which meant there was no option than to operate to relieve the pressure as quickly as possible. I had the emergency procedure and was taken to the High Dependency Unit and put into a coma. Meanwhile, my parents were told that it was now imperative to attempt to remove the ‘inoperable’ tumour once the pressure in my head had been reduced and I had returned to a stable condition.”Read more
After suffering a seizure at his home in Milton Keynes, 54-year-old Brian Carrick underwent surgery to remove a grade two oligodendroglioma, which had been growing unnoticed for at least 10 years. Brian feels tremendously lucky it was discovered at a point where he could benefit from new research and before it became cancerous. Brian is currently undergoing a six-week course of radiotherapy followed by chemotherapy to try and remove a small amount of tumour that was left after surgery.
“I dread to think what could have happened if Emma hadn’t been home that day, or if I was driving at the time of the seizure. I’m very lucky that I’m here and able to tell my story, unlike so many others that have been struck by such a devastating disease like cancer.”Read more
Soldier Cameron Ray agreed to his brain surgery being filmed for a BBC documentary because he wanted to raise awareness of the disease and to help reassure others who were coping with the same diagnosis. He hopes to get back to full fitness, complete his training as a medic and resume his career serving his country in the British Army.Read more
Carly Beasley had landed her dream job and had recently married her childhood sweetheart, Kris, when she had her first seizure. Following a series of tests and scans, she was diagnosed with a low-grade brain tumour in October 2017 and had surgery to remove the tumour three months later. Having made a remarkably quick recovery from the operation, Carly is now back at work and determined to use her experience to help others.
“With anything that people go through, not just brain tumours, you go through a mix of emotions. I have had anxiety about my illness and have gone through the inevitable ups-and-downs, but there are many positives I can take from my situation. At least my tumour is low-grade. At least I made a full recovery.”Read more
When Carol Hayes was sent to A&E in February 2018, she expected the worst and sadly her fear became reality. It was a brain tumour that had been causing her constant headaches and affecting her vision. The 56-year-old is still trying to come to the terms with her diagnosis but she remains positive as she undergoes six months of chemotherapy.“Shortly after, my worst fears were confirmed: I had a brain tumour. It was like a truck had hit me in the chest but somehow the news just didn’t sink in… Nothing can prepare you to hear that, and even though I’d been worried I had a brain tumour, I couldn’t believe this was happening to me.” Read more
Caroline was 13 when she was diagnosed with a pituitary gland brain tumour after her mother finally managed to persuade doctors to take her worrying weight gain and growth seriously. For a number of years, she had been told to get Caroline to lose weight. Caroline underwent surgery twice because the tumour returned and now, aged 26, she will have to take medication for the rest of her life after her pituitary gland was damaged during surgery.Read more
Carrie-Ann Greenwood, from Holywell in Flintshire, North Wales, was 36 weeks pregnant when a sudden loss of vision on her right side prompted her to visit her optician. She was referred for an MRI scan, which revealed a golf ball-sized tumour on her pituitary gland.
The diagnosis in May 2016 led to an emergency caesarean section to deliver her daughter Cerys, followed by brain surgery just days later.Read more
It took four months of headaches gradually getting worse before Catherine was finally diagnosed. One day she had such blinding pain on the left side of her head that her husband called an ambulance and she was taken to A&E. Catherine was given a CT scan, leading to the discovery that she had a brain tumour, which later turned out to be a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).
Mum-of-three Catherine Wilcockson had not been feeling herself and was mistakenly prescribed anti-depressants to treat her symptoms. After a couple of episodes of ‘blacking out’ and then a massive seizure in May 2019, it was finally discovered that she had a brain tumour. The 37-year-old from Sheffield has undergone an awake craniotomy, radiotherapy and chemotherapy and, since her recovery, has dedicated herself to fundraising for Brain Tumour Research. Remarkably, Catherine feels like her diagnosis has given her a new lease of lifeRead more