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In Our Hearts

Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years

These very brave people will remain in our hearts for ever and it is because of them that we are fighting to find a cure so that no other family should have to suffer in the same way.

We thought of you with love today, but that is nothing new.


We thought about you yesterday, and days before that too.


Anon

You are forever in our hearts.

Recently published stories

Jenny Murray

Having lost his first wife to cancer, aged 41, Steve thought he had found his life-long partner and soul-mate, following a recording session in his music studio. Jenny was a very talented musician and singer. Tragically, just eight years after they got together Jenny was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour, passing away four months later. Read more

Martin Greenfield

Martin Greenfield was a bright, healthy and energetic 11-year-old when he was diagnosed with a deadly brain tumour in 1995. Twenty four years after his death and the excruciating pain of losing a child has never left Martin’s mother, Elizabeth.

Elizabeth has recently made the decision to leave a significant gift to Brain Tumour Research in her will, to honour her son and to help improve outcomes for brain tumour patients in the future.

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Kevin O’Mahoney

Kevin O’Mahoney, a construction contractor, drummer and rock music enthusiast from Cannock, died just a year after his diagnosis with an aggressive brain tumour, aged 53. The tumour caused him to lose function of his left-side and problems to his eyesight. He left his wife Annette and their two daughters Paige and Eve, 22 and 20, and now his family are keen to fundraise in his memory, by hosting a charity concert for Brain Tumour Research.

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All stories

Aaron Irvine

Aaron was first diagnosed with a brain tumour at the age of two and a half, but not without his mother having to fight for six months to get doctors to take his symptoms seriously.  The operation and subsequent radiotherapy left him with lots of physical and educational disabilities, but he got on with life and never complained.  At the age of 29 his tumour came back – his mother (who has her own disabilities) had to fight to get any support for him. Aaron passed away five months later in 2011.  Read more

Aaron Wood

Student Aaron Wood died at the age of 24, four years after being diagnosed with what was thought to be a low-grade brain tumour, which later turned out to be a grade 3 anaplastic astrocytoma. He had undergone surgery and radiotherapy, and went back to uni to complete his studies to graduate with a 2:1 in philosophy. His dying wish, for scientists to use his brain to further their knowledge of brain tumours, was fulfilled. His mum Crystal hopes that his story will inspire others to never give up.

“Aaron saved my life before he was even born. I had a car accident when I was four months pregnant and it was a wake-up call, the moment I realised I had to start taking care of myself for the sake of my unborn child. A brain tumour robbed Aaron of the prime of his life and robbed me of my sunshine. It is so painful to think he saved me by giving me something to live for and yet, 24 years later, I was unable to save him.”
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Abigail Lightbown

The first signs that there was anything wrong with our daughter began around the end of August 2010 when Abigail started being sick every morning.  Doctors prescribed a number of different medications to treat her for acid reflux, but none seemed to help and, by the middle of October, she had lost over half a stone in weight as her appetite had diminished.  It was at this point that we did briefly consider whether she had an eating disorder and even chased her upstairs on one occasion to check whether she was making herself sick.

Over the following weeks and months, Abigail underwent a series of tests, including a comprehensive examination of her eyes, but all came back clear, even the eye test, which can be a key method for indicating the presence of certain types of brain tumours.

Finally, an MRI scan was booked for 18th February 2011, but not long before this was to happen, Abigail collapsed and was taken to Bolton Royal Hospital. Doctors performed various manual dexterity tests on Abigail which all came up as normal and as the scan was booked for a few days later they decided to wait.  It was only then, at the age of nine, that she was finally diagnosed with a medulloblastoma brain tumour, around 20 weeks after we first had taken her to the GP about her vomiting.
 
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Adam Barclay

Adam and Emma met through their mutual love of cars. They had settled down with two small children, were happy at work, very much in love and engaged to be married. Despite numerous doctor’s appointments and hospital visits, Adam’s symptoms were repeatedly dismissed. By the time his brain tumour was diagnosed it was too late. He had several massive seizures and underwent emergency surgery. Adam died on New Year’s Day 2016 without regaining consciousness. He was just 27. 

“Adam’s symptoms were repeatedly dismissed as nothing serious. As the brain tumour grew, he had a series of massive seizures. He went into surgery but never woke up. We had been planning our wedding but now I’m alone at 24 and my children are left without their daddy. Our lives have been destroyed and it is all so unnecessary – had he been diagnosed earlier he would still be with us now.”
 
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Adam Forster

A farmer and keen hunting man, Adam was diagnosed with a high-grade glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain tumour. Surgery was not an option and he underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy but passed away at home 11 months later, at the age of 42.

“Somehow Adam found the strength to cope. He was a trooper and his concern was always for others. His tumour was a grade four glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the worst it could possibly be. I don't think Adam really knew how high-grade his tumour was, but he was aware that it was inoperable and the prognosis was bleak; he had probably just two years to live, five years at best. Radiotherapy and chemotherapy began and that took us up to March and he lived for just two months after that.”

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Adrian Vitoria

Director Adrian Vitoria was shooting a film in the States when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. He underwent surgery and self-funded pioneering new treatment, continuing to work on what was to be his final project while having chemotherapy. Adrian returned to Suffolk in the later stages of his illness. He passed away in November 2016 at the age 48.

“I don’t think people are aware of how cruel this disease is. It was torture for me to watch as Adrian was robbed of his mobility and his faculties especially as he was such a great communicator. He became bedridden, unable to even lift his head. It was an agonisingly slow decline as my brother became locked-in as the tumour grew.”

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Aidan Linden

Our first born child, Aidan, was just 16 months old when he first became ill.  He was diagnosed with a variety of different infections, but five weeks later we were given the horrific news he had an aggressive medulloblastoma brain tumour which had also spread into his spinal cord.  Aidan was given the best treatment options available at the time and fought a brave battle, but despite everything, we still lost him just one month shy of his fifth birthday.  Now we want to raise awareness and help prevent other children from having to face a similar fate.

“Research into paediatric brain tumours and how to treat them effectively is the only thing that can save the lives of other children like Aidan.  A greater understanding of how the different tumour cells develop, as well as discovering more effective treatments that target those specific cells, will not only reduce mortality, but will also improve the quality of life of children who survive brain tumours.”

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Alan Davis

Gloucestershire husband, father, and grandfather, Alan Davis, was 67 when he was diagnosed with a grade four glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain tumour, after suffering from memory loss, and problems with his balance. Due to its size and location, surgery wasn’t an option and an intense course of radiotherapy was prescribed. Unfortunately, the treatment didn’t help and Alan died in January 2009 less than six weeks after his diagnosis.

“It was early November that year when I remember having this one conversation with dad and he just couldn’t get his words out. The quick-witted, articulate and confident man I knew was not the man that was talking to me and that’s when I insisted on taking him to the GP as this wasn’t right.”

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Alan May

It seemed nothing would tear childhood sweethearts Sandra and Alan May apart. After 30 years of married life, they were given the devastating news that Alan had a highly aggressive brain tumour. Just 10 months later, in August 2016, he passed away, leaving his parents, sister, wife, two sons and three granddaughters. Facing life without her soulmate, Sandra has run a fete in memory of her husband for the past three years, alongside a football tournament organised by her son, Shane, and has helped to raise around £5,400 for the Brain Tumour Research charity.

“My grieving process began as soon as Alan was diagnosed. It felt like somebody had ripped my heart out and, when I look back, the whole period was a total blur. It seemed as if I was on standby. My life was completely out of control, but I had to stay strong and put on a brave face for Alan. In the final days I had to agree to Alan’s wish, to stop treatment, so that he could pass peacefully away. It felt like an eternity but it was the last act of love.”

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Alan Needham

Alan was born and bred in Doncaster and worked for the civil service for over 30 years. He was very proud of his two sons, Darren and Andrew, and his three grand-daughters. Never having been a drinker or a smoker, Alan enjoyed making music most of his life. He learnt to play the euphonium as a very young boy and has played in numerous brass bands within South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire since the age of eight, as well as becoming a musical director and conductor. Alan met his partner, Sarah, and moved to Scunthorpe in 2013, a year before he was diagnosed with a GBM4 and given just months to live.

“Alan had a CT scan and could see for himself there was a big white lump in his brain.  He got his piece of paper again and wrote, “I can see that big white lump.  I know I haven’t had a stroke.”
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