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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

Anna Binks

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.

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Matt Schlag

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.

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Jill Kenton

Voiceover artist Jill Kenton had the shock of her life when, after experiencing relatively minor symptoms, she was diagnosed with a low-grade brain tumour. Facing surgery and fearing the worst, Jill faced crippling anxiety and could barely leave the house before deciding to seek another opinion and “take back control”.

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All stories

Beverley Fielder

Beverley had always been healthy and active until she suddenly started having excruciating headaches and vomiting. She was eventually diagnosed with a low-grade haemangioblastoma and underwent surgery which, happily, was successful in removing the tumour. Now, 10 years on, she feels it is as if the experience never happened.

“I am so thankful I was lucky enough to have the type of brain tumour I had, but I am very conscious that the prognosis for the vast majority of brain tumour patients is not nearly so rosy. I am sharing my story to help raise awareness because I know that much more research needs to happen to find a cure.”

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Bill Smith

Grandfather-of-six Bill Smith, from Sheffield, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in April 2021. Having overcome bowel cancer three years prior to his diagnosis, the retired induction hardener initially feared the tumour was high-grade. Luckily, Bill’s tumour was a low-grade meningioma unrelated to his previous cancer. Surgeons were able to remove the tumour during a three-hour operation. He has bounced back to good health and his post-operative scans remain clear.

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Bob Picken

Bob shared his story with us in September 2016. Sadly, he passed away on 25th June 2019. We will remember Bob as we continue our work to raise awareness of this devastating disease and to fund research to help find a cure. He will be forever in our hearts.

A successful double bass player, Bob Picken has been a member of Liverpool band Ella Guru, as well as a backing for artists such as Neville Skelly, She Drew The Gun, Bill Ryder-Jones and Marvin Powell.

Diagnosed in 2012 with an anaplastic astrocytoma, whom he affectionately calls “Bieber” in reference to the Canadian singer Justin, Bob has managed to overcome a number of setbacks to carry on with his career, and in his own words “stick two fingers up to cancer”.

“You go through five stages of cancer: denial, anger, bargaining, sadness and eventually acceptance.”

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Bobby Humphries

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.

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Bradley Price

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.”

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Brian Carrick

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.”

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Cameron Ray

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.

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Carlie Buchanan

Mother-of-two, Carlie Buchanan, from Grove in Oxfordshire found a lump on her breast in December 2018, and months later was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. Carlie entered 2020 with optimism after undergoing a year of treatment for her breast cancer, however, as 2020 came to an end, she began experiencing new symptoms and in February 2021, Carlie was diagnosed with secondary cancer of the brain. With the support of her family and sister Jasmine, Carlie is determined to raise awareness and fundraise to help find a cure for brain tumours.

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Carly Beasley

Shortly after landing her dream job and marrying her childhood sweetheart, Carly from Chippenham in Wiltshire, suffered a seizure out-of-the-blue. A series of tests and scans revealed the devastating news of a mass on her brain and in January 2018 she had surgery to remove a low-grade oligodendroglioma. Since her diagnosis, Carly has excelled in her career and travelled the world with her husband, Kris. In August 2021, the couple welcomed their first child and in the same month they will celebrate their daughter’s first birthday, Carly is preparing for a second operation to remove regrowth of her tumour.

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Caroline Watson

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.

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