Franchise supervisor Neil was recently married and looking forward to the birth of his first child when he received the devastating diagnosis that he had a brain tumour. He had surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Despite the gruelling treatment and uncertainty over what lies ahead for him, his wife Alex and their baby daughter Annabelle, Neil continues to work and has raised thousands for the Brain Tumour Research charity.
“We have both been so touched by the people around us who are supporting us and helping with the fundraising. Neil is just 33 – a young dad with so much to live for – yet research into this horrible disease is so poorly funded. No-one knows what the future will bring but the truth is that brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer.”
Neil’s wife Alex tells his story:
The year 2016 had started off in the most incredible way. Neil had won an award at work and we both travelled to America for him to collect it. It felt as if we were on a roll as he was given a big promotion, we got married and, five months later, discovered our first child was on the way.
Sadly, as the year drew to a close, things took a dramatic twist and then, in February 2017, Neil was diagnosed with a brain tumour. I was 13 weeks pregnant and we had only just been telling people about the baby, now we had to break the devastating news about Neil’s diagnosis.
It was Christmas 2016 when Neil was first taken ill. Out of the blue, he had a seizure in the night. Terrified, I phoned an ambulance but he checked out OK and we were advised to see our GP the following day, who told us to go back if it happened again. It was Boxing Day night when the second seizure struck. Again, Neil was asleep and I woke up straight away. We went back to the doctor in the morning and Neil was referred to a neurologist for a scan, unsure whether he was looking at a sleeping disorder or epilepsy. However, on 20th February 2017 we were called to the hospital to be told that Neil had a brain tumour in the left frontal lobe. What a roller coaster, it seemed as if one minute we were joyously telling people that we were going to have a baby and then we had to tell them that Neil had a brain tumour.
Neil was referred to a brain surgeon and they operated in March removing what they could and testing the tumour to determine what type it was. It was identified as a grade three astrocytoma which would require further treatment. He was started on radiotherapy and chemotherapy as soon as he was able to after surgery.
He has been amazing throughout and is still working, he is a supervisor for McDonald’s in Manchester, as well as being a great husband and a wonderful father to our daughter Annabelle who was born in August 2017.
The award, which took us to America in 2016, was the Ray Kroc award which recognises the top 1% of business managers in McDonald’s worldwide. A great honour and one which Neil so deserved. He has remained amazingly upbeat throughout it all – he’s still working despite going through radiotherapy followed by 12 months of chemotherapy which finished in July. His post-treatment scan showed that while some of the tumour remains, it is stable. Neil will have a scan every three months and so it feels as if we are living our lives in three-month chunks.
Even before his surgery, Neil set about raising money for the national charity Brain Tumour Research. He did a sponsored head shave and it is so typical of him that, even when he was going through the early stages of his diagnosis, he was still thinking of others and wanting to raise awareness of something he himself knew very little about. This autumn we launched our Fundraising Group Neil’s Appeal and our aim is to raise £10,000 in a year – this would double the funds we have raised to date for the charity. The cause is so important to us and we are committed to doing all we can in order to raise as much money as we can to improve treatments and help find a cure.
We have both been so touched by the people around us who are supporting us and helping with the fundraising. Neil is just 33 – a young dad with so much to live for – yet research into this horrible disease is so poorly funded. No-one knows what the future will bring but the truth is that brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer.
Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.
Brain Tumour Research is determined to change this.
If you have been inspired by Neil’s story and would like to make a donation to Brain Tumour Research please go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/neil-taylor27 or leave a gift in your will via https://www.braintumourresearch.org/legacy
Together we will find a cure.
The views or opinions expressed within are not necessarily those of Brain Tumour Research. This content has been shared for information purposes only. Brain Tumour Research does not recommend or endorse any particular treatment. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your doctor or other suitably qualified medical professional. Our member charity brainstrust can provide additional information on treatment options.