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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

Luke Webber

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.

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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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All stories

Claire Whittle

Claire, a French teacher at Stanton School in Milton Keynes, was diagnosed with a grade 2/3 astrocytoma in 2011, aged 51. She made a decision at the time that she wouldn’t be a victim and that she would live to be a grandmother. Nearly five years on she feels so blessed to still be here.

“I was given the news by a hard-nosed clinical nurse specialist because my neurosurgeon was called away on an emergency.  She walked in with a big white envelope and bluntly stated: “I know all about it.  There is no cure… but the good news is that you can have a bus pass.”
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Cliff Comber

Former Royal Air Force (RAF) serviceman Cliff Comber, 63, enjoyed a 27-year career in the military before he left the forces as a Chief Technician (Chf Tech) in January 2003 and took up a civilian position with South Yorkshire Police. The grandfather, from Thurcroft near Rotherham, maintained his fitness after leaving the RAF, running eight miles a day to and from work and regularly taking part in numerous marathons, half marathons and running events. His world came crashing down, however, in November 2021, when he was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour. Cliff, an avid Crystal Palace FC fan, is currently on chemotherapy treatment and is coping well, while his family, including his wife Carol, tries to come to terms with the devastating diagnosis. 

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Corin Snell

Corin Snell, of Ixworth in Suffolk, is now registered blind having been diagnosed with a low-grade meningioma in February 2014. She had been experiencing persistent headaches and painful, weeping eyes for months but it was only after a visit to Specsavers opticians that the pressure on her optic nerve was detected and she was advised to go to the hospital. She has undergone two craniotomies, one in April 2014 and the other in November 2018, as well as a separate operation to have a shunt fitted. In February 2021 a routine check-up showed further growth and she was referred for six weeks of radiotherapy, the start of which was delayed so she could finally marry her fiancé in a ceremony that was postponed four times because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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Damon Bowles

It's been just over a year since 49-year-old dad-of-two, Damon Bowles, received treatment for a low-grade acoustic neuroma brain tumour. It's a non-cancerous growth that presses on the nerves leading from the inner ear to the brain and can affect your hearing and balance. 

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Dan Braiden

Aged 30, Dan Braiden, from Cosham, near Portsmouth, had already survived testicular cancer only to be told he had a highly aggressive and incurable brain tumour. The developer at The Insurance Factory, an insurance firm based in Portsmouth, had suffered from a number of symptoms including tingling sensations, before his diagnosis with a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in December 2019. Having had surgery and radiotherapy, Dan is trying to stay positive, with the support of his caring parents and loveable dog Winston.

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Dan Horrocks

Dan was at university when he started to suffer from crippling headaches which led to his eventual diagnosis with a grade 3 ependymoma brain tumour. Ten years on, he has had surgery three times and undergone radiotherapy. Although he lives with the knowledge that his tumour could return, he is optimistic about the future, having just moved into a new flat with his wife and working as a parliamentary researcher at Westminster.

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Dan Mason

After suffering seizures, former soldier Dan Mason, 33, was diagnosed with a pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma – a very rare and incurable type of brain tumour. He was forced to quit the job he loved and lost his driving licence, yet still faced his diagnosis with positivity. A tattoo across his chest, which translates to ‘think positive, be strong’, reminds Dan to live in the moment, despite the pressure his illness places on him, his wife Roz and his children Caleb, 10, and Daisy, two.

Emotionally, things were tough. I remember standing outside the hospital, in my army uniform, crying. My friends and family members didnt know how to react or how to comfort me and that was really hard to deal with.

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Dan Potts

Dan Potts, 46, from Cumbria, loved going to the gym and keeping active with his wife Liah. He started getting headaches in December 2018, but it took two years and three MRI scans for Dan to be diagnosed with a glioblastoma (GBM) brain tumour. He had surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy and he is on four different medications to try and control his seizures. Dan and Liah are now preparing for their “last Christmas together”. They are crowdfunding for Brain Tumour Research and to make final memories.

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Daniel Burridge

Daniel is the youngest of three children with an older brother and sister. In his last year at Dr Challoner’s Grammar School in Amersham, Daniel is studying for A’ Levels in Further Maths, Physics and Geography, having already taken Maths last year.  He is applying to university to study Mechanical Engineering and hopes to get a place at Imperial or Bath.  

Aged 17, Daniel was just 5ft, 5in tall, despite his Dad being 6ft 4in.  Investigations led to him being diagnosed with a tumour on his pituitary gland, which fortunately turned out to be benign.  

“Mum found the six-week wait to learn whether the tumour was benign or malignant much more worrying than me. It really affected her, especially as, unbeknown to me, she went online and looked up pituitary gland tumours and discovered that in 20 per cent of cases they are malignant. I was more worried about whether I was going to be able to continue boxing, which I had enjoyed so much for the past five years.”  
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Danielle Gibbons

Former professional footballer Danielle Gibbons, from Chorley in Lancashire, was 23 when she was diagnosed with a low-grade brain tumour, growing on the vestibulocochlear nerve, which helps to control hearing and balance. Just over a year later she was back on the pitch and, in November 2015, she received a Special Recognition Award at her club’s Player of the Year Awards. She’s no longer playing football for a living but 27-year-old Danielle is channelling her active and competitive nature into a fundraising challenge to raise awareness of brain tumours.

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