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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

Rosie Wilson

Just a couple of months after her wedding, Rosie, then a 31-year-old children’s nanny, was told she had an aggressive and incurable brain tumour. She was given a survival prognosis of 12 to 15 months, but puts her long-term survival with a glioblastoma multiforme down to taking part in some observational research of repurposed drugs at the private Care Oncology Clinic in London. Read more

Lynne Collins

Lynne Collins, 61, is undergoing her fifth round of chemotherapy to treat her glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) – the most aggressive form of brain cancer. She has already endured surgery and now faces the difficult decision of whether to undergo radiotherapy which could leave her blind. As a former advanced nurse practitioner, she is under no illusion of how uncertain her future is.

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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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All stories

Tom Beech

Sports-mad entrepreneur Tom Beech, now 22, was only five when he had his first seizure. With the support of family and friends, Tom is living with his low-grade brain tumour while also fulfilling his dreams of travel and launching his own fitness business. 

“I’m living my life as I want, with the business ready to take off, and I’m even taking a few months out to travel. My only worry is getting the rucksack full of pills through customs…”

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Tom Dewane

Tom was a teenager when a problem with his eyesight was spotted in examinations as he prepared to join the army. He was diagnosed with four brain tumours which, following treatment, are stable. Twelve years later Tom is married with two children and tries to remain positive although no-one can tell him what the future holds.

“I was 18, had met a lovely girl, and was planning to join the army when I was diagnosed with multiple brain tumours. I felt as if my life had ended before it had really begun. The diagnosis meant I had no chance of serving my country in the armed forces. I had to give up work and could no longer drive and no-one really knew what lay ahead or how much time I had left.”
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Tom Meager

When Milton Keynes resident Tom Meager was diagnosed aged 26 with a grade 3 anaplastic oligoastrocytoma, it was a shock because his family were expecting it to be confirmed as a low-grade tumour. A devoted family man, Tom is inspired by his two young children and is doing well and now on annual scans. 

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Vanessa Fewell

When mum-of-three Vanessa Fewell started suffering from a mild pressure in her head, she became paranoid that she, like her close friend Ali Smith, had a brain tumour. Vanessa saw her GP as a precaution but the results of her MRI only confirmed her worst fears. Diagnosed with a grade 2 astrocytoma at the age of 40, Vanessa underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy but sadly lost Ali along her journey to recovery.

“Radiotherapy finished just before Christmas and I started chemotherapy soon after. Meanwhile, Ali was rapidly declining and, in January 2017, she passed away. It was devastating to lose her. Her funeral took place the week I began my chemotherapy and it was heart-breaking. Her death made me realise how different things could have turned out for my family.”

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Vetri Velamail

Vetri worked in Rotherham as a GP for more than 20 years and is a proud father of three much loved children.  Suffering with double vision, an optician at Specsavers sent him to A&E and he was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma Multiforme.

“From not sleeping through worrying about my illness, I now lie awake thinking about how I can help raise awareness of the desperate need for charitable fundraising for research into brain tumours… I am getting weaker and I know I cannot be helped, but there must surely be a cure for future generations.”
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Vicki Hilborn

A year after her diagnosis and surgery to remove a low-grade brain tumour, Vicki is back at work as a hairstylist and loving life. Despite being warned her tumour could grow back, Vicki is celebrating after four clear scans. She is sharing her story in the hope of telling others that there is life to be lived after the devastation of being told you have this disease.

“I hope that sharing my story will inspire others. As dreadful as a brain tumour diagnosis is, sometimes there are happy endings. At the moment I feel very blessed, I am on cloud nine, back at work and loving living a very normal life. I have a souvenir of the operation – a scar which runs from the top of my temple around my ear – but have no ill effects whatsoever and feel invincible.”

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Victoria Bradley

Less than two years after her diagnosis with a brain tumour Victoria, 48, launched her own meditation and hypnotherapy business. Victoria, a doting grandmother, had surgery to remove her meningioma, but still suffers from frequent seizures. She wants to bring hope to other brain tumour patients by sharing her inspirational story.  Read more

Wayne Chessum

Wayne was 39 and the father of three children, including a young daughter of five years old who had survived meningitis, when he was diagnosed with a haemangioblastoma (just 2% of brain tumours are this type) in 2008. Read more

Zoe Beckett

Havant resident Zoe, 42, was diagnosed with a tangerine-sized meningioma in 2012, and life has never been the same since. The inoperable tumour damaged Zoe’s pituitary gland – meaning she will be on hormone replacement medication for the rest of her life. But Zoe’s health scare was also the wakeup call she needed to make the most of every day. Less than a year after her diagnosis, Zoe married her partner Candice and adopted their daughter Isabella, and now Zoe is looking forward to taking part in the Brain Tumour Research charity’s Wear A Hat Day for the third year running.

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