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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

Freya Bevan

Eight-year-old Freya Bevan, from Neath in Wales, was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour at just 20 months old. Following surgeries and chemotherapy, a huge fundraising effort then helped Freya to get specialist treatment in Oklahoma in the United States. Six years of stable scans followed but devastatingly, in October 2020, a new tumour growth was detected. The family has since returned to America, where Freya is having more privately-funded treatment, in a bid to save her life.  

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Dixie King

Dixie had finally found his true soul-mate when he met Jules on the internet in 2005. They had 14 blissfully happy years together before Dixie was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme brain tumour, grade 4 and given 12 to 18 months to live. Faced with a terminal illness, Dixie turned to poetry to express his deepest feelings and to leave a permanent reminder to his beloved wife, step-daughters and grandchildren.

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Leo Middleton

Six-year-old Leo Middleton from Aberdeenshire in Scotland was diagnosed with a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) in November 2020, at the age of just five. His is an aggressive, high-grade brain tumour, most often occurring in children, with a median overall survival of between eight to 12 months. Leo is a much-loved brother to his siblings Caiden, nine, Mia, seven and Rose, one. His parents Rebecca and Barry, have been left devastated by this cruellest of diagnoses. 

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All stories

Freyja Hanstein

Freyja Hanstein was enveloped by grief after losing her husband to abdominal cancer just a month after they were married. Within a year she was fighting her own battle with the disease and underwent surgery to remove a brain tumour. She has now developed the app WholesomeWorld bringing together scientific and lifestyle information designed for patients and those supporting them through treatment.

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Gary Fordham

Single dad Gary Fordham, 43, was diagnosed with a golf ball-sized brain tumour after passing out at the wheel of his van on the M6 motorway. It happened on New Year’s Eve 2018, when he suffered a seizure on his way home to Bradford after visiting his parents in Swindon for Christmas. Gary was in the van with his dog, a ‘shug’ called Buster, and his 11-year-old son Hayden. All three miraculously survived. Since the near-fatal accident, Gary has gone on to have an awake craniotomy to remove the tumour. He is now waiting to have a titanium plate fitted to replace part of his skull, since he developed an infection following his brain surgery. 

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Gary Nelson

Gary Nelson, from Chester, is in the throes of battling his third brain tumour and is undergoing six months of chemotherapy to try to control the disease. The dad-of-one’s brain tumour journey began in 1985 when, at the age of seven, he was diagnosed with a low-grade tumour, which was successfully treated with neurosurgery and a gruelling course of radiotherapy. Having already overcome the most unimaginable hurdles, Gary and his wife Amy continue to stay brave and positive, as they turn to fundraising to give them a positive focus and to fight for other sufferers and their loved ones.

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Gary Robinson

Father-of-two Gary Robinson marked his 34th birthday in May 2015 by running the Manchester 10K to raise money for Brain Tumour Research. It was the first such event he had taken part in and it came just months after he underwent surgery and radiotherapy to remove an extremely rare and aggressive grade II haemangiopericytoma brain tumour. Read more

Gavin Hawke

Gavin had recently become a father and had been married for just six weeks when he was diagnosed with cancer of the spine which had metastasised to his brain. His new wife and baby daughter had to move temporarily from Cornwall to Bristol to be with him as he underwent surgery and radiotherapy treatment.

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Gemma Gliddon

Mother-of-two Gemma Gliddon is awaiting surgery for a schwannoma brain tumour which has regrown after a previous operation. Determined to remain positive, Gemma, 32, is training to become a nurse and is helping to raise awareness and funds for research by taking part Wear A Hat Day 2015 just four days after her latest operation. Read more

George Devlin

For first-time parents Stephanie Day and James Devlin, it was devastating to be told their new-born baby George had a brain tumour. ‘Gorgeous George’ underwent a nine-hour craniotomy when he was just 10 weeks old and is now a healthy and happy little boy. His mum Stephanie, 27, who was shocked that someone so young could be diagnosed with such a serious condition, is keen to raise awareness of the disease.

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George Stocker

In April 2008 George became ill and was diagnosed with a brain tumour. George underwent over 80 weeks of treatment including multiple operations, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. George and his family started fundraising in August 2008 and have raised over £32,000. Read more

Gordon Shaw

Gordon was diagnosed with a brain tumour at the age of 32, after first being told he had probably a stroke and then possibly he was HIV positive. He started writing comics to help his friends and family understand cancer and as something cathartic for himself, but is now publishing them, as well as exhibiting the comics to a wider audience. He feels happy and settled, but his seizures are a constant reminder that his life is very uncertain.

“Having a brain tumour has changed the way I live my life. When I am in my happy head, I often think I might not see too many more of these times, so I try to recognise good moments when I am in them and thank people who are there sharing them with me. Compared with so many people I feel very lucky that I got away with it so lightly. I have had no long-term effects from my treatment apart from hair loss, but I have my beard as compensation for that!”

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Grace Daly

A healthy 15-year-old, Grace found herself with the devastating diagnosis of a brain tumour after a short bout of headaches, dizziness and vomiting.

After undergoing surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy to eradicate her medulloblastoma, Grace has now been clear for seven years, and is a nurse, inspired by the amazing care she received during the battle with her tumour.

“It’s a totally devastating thing to lose your hair when you’re 15 when the way you look is so important.”
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