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
Keen dancer Connie Campbell was diagnosed with a grade 4 medulloblastoma in September 2022 following a sudden bout of headaches and sickness. The 11-year-old, from South Woodford, East London, underwent surgery and is now on a phase 3 clinical trial for high-risk medulloblastoma patients. She has had induction chemotherapy, 30 sessions of radiotherapy and will soon be starting a six-month course of maintenance chemo.
At the age of nine Giles, who lives in Gibraltar, was diagnosed with a diffuse astrocytoma after experiencing severe headaches and double vision. Existing medical conditions meant that treatment options for Giles, who is now 15, were restricted. His parents, Lynette and Ruben sought a second and third opinion to give their son the best chance of a future. Eventually he had an operation to remove the three tiny lesions on his brain. The teenager is now monitored with MRI scans to check for any re-growth.Read more
It was 2006 and Sally was 40 when she first noticed something could be wrong. It was thought the mum-of-two from Stourbridge in the West Midlands could have an eating disorder after dramatic weight loss. When she began to experience sickness a few months later, a gastroenterologist referred her for a CT scan and what she thought could be a problem with her stomach, turned out to be a tumour on her brain. Sally had surgery to remove a grade 1 astrocytoma in February 2007 and is monitored with an MRI scan every two years. Since her diagnosis, Sally, now 57, is a key figure in the brain tumour community finding a love of cycling which she has used to fundraise for Brain Tumour Research.Read more
April WatkinsApril was diagnosed with a grade IV medulloblastoma in 2010 during her first year at university after suffering with debilitating headaches. Her mother had recently been diagnosed with lung cancer and tragically passed away while April was receiving treatment following her brain surgery. She has since been given the all clear. Read more
When toddler Arthur Ridout, from Dorset, started having dizzy spells, vomiting and headaches at the end of 2021, his parents Simon and Lauren never suspected a brain tumour would be the cause of his symptoms. After several visits to the doctor and a worrying episode which led to a trip to A&E, little Arthur was finally diagnosed with a medulloblastoma in February 2022 and was operated on almost immediately. The three-year-old has since had further surgery, radiotherapy and is about to start a nine-month course of chemotherapy to treat his aggressive tumour.Read more
Baljit Mehat, a successful businessman and father-of four from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in October 2021 after becoming shaky and confused on his way to a football match. The 58-year-old underwent a craniotomy in November and a biopsy revealed that his tumour is a grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). In January he started taking a drug called AZD1390 in combination with radiotherapy as part of a clinical trial.Read more
Beatrice WilliamsGrandma-of-four Beatrice, an artist, was 30 years old when she was first diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma brain tumour, which was removed by surgery. She thought she had seen the back of the disease when, in 2014, an examination following a minor head injury showed that her tumour had recurred. While recovering, Beatrice learnt to paint and now, having recently celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary, she is sharing her story to bring hope to patients and families. Read more
Ben AndersonFourteen-year-old Young Scout Leader Ben Anderson went to the optician for a check up at the end of the summer holidays. Within hours he was referred to hospital and a scan revealed he had a brain tumour. Immediate action was required and Ben underwent surgery. He recovered well but needed further treatment, this time in the US, to halt the growth of his tumour. Despite the gruelling treatment and disruption caused to his schooling, Ben did well in his GCSEs and is now studying for a career which he hopes will see him working with children with special needs.
“My world had been turned upside town. I had walked into the opticians with a child who seemed perfectly healthy and was just days away from going into year 10 to start his GCSE courses. Less than 24 hours later my son was diagnosed with a brain tumour and needed life-saving surgery. I was 29 weeks pregnant. When Ben turned to me and said: ‘I really want to be here to meet my new baby brother or sister. Am I going to die mum?’ I told him no, he wasn’t going to die and we would do whatever was needed.” Read more
Ben Lindon was diagnosed with an inoperable aggressive oligodendroglioma brain tumour on March 11, 2008, a week before his 29th birthday. He underwent radiotherapy treatment and 120 cycles of chemotherapy – thought to be a record for a UK patient. Amazingly, having been told that all his treatment would render him infertile, he went on to father two miracle children, Martha and Sid.Read more
Mother-of-one Beth Harris was going about her usual weekend routine and had taken part in a parkrun just hours before she started to experience the symptoms of a brain tumour for the first time. After having multiple seizures, she was rushed to hospital and an MRI scan revealed she had a grade 2 or 3 glioma. Beth has been forced to give up her career as a swimming teacher and lifeguard, after suffering side effects from her tumour. She married her long-term partner Cellan in February 2021 and is determined to find a cure for the deadly disease.Read more
When Beth Parker, 27, from Liverpool, went into surgery to remove a brainstem tumour, she was told there was a 20% chance she wouldn’t survive. If she did survive, there was a long list of potentially life-changing risks. Thankfully, the operation was a success and she is on the road to recovery after her ordeal. Beth’s diagnosis with a low-grade haemangioblastoma came after years of trying to convince doctors that her symptoms were real and not ‘just a migraine’. She is now keen to share her story and is fundraising for Brain Tumour Research, to help others facing this devastating diagnosis.Read more
Bethan from Cardiff says she owes her life to her mental health nurse who encouraged her to get a scan. Doctors initially thought the 36-year-old, mother-of-two could be suffering from post-natal depression. When her behaviour became erratic, she was admitted to a psychiatric facility for four months. Her symptoms continued and became physically noticeable as she developed facial palsy. In 2011, weeks after she was discharged and two years after her symptoms began, Bethan had a CT scan and she was told she had an acoustic neuroma brain tumour.
A decade after her diagnosis, Bethan has continued to navigate motherhood whilst training to be a barrister, and living with the side effects of a brain tumour.Read more