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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

Michelle Noakes

In August 2019, mum-of-two Michelle Noakes, from Bow in East London, had her ultimate dream wedding to her beloved husband, Simon. They were surrounded by their friends and family, with their young children Otto and Poppy there to take part in their special day. Only a few months later, however, their world would come crashing down when Michelle was diagnosed with an aggressive and inoperable brain tumour. Determined to defy her stark prognosis, Michelle underwent standard of care NHS treatment, as well as private therapies, but sadly her condition worsened and eventually, her options ran out. She died at home in June 2021, aged 39, leaving her loved ones devastated. Her family feel strongly that there needs to be more funding for research to find better treatments so that other young children do not lose their mum in this way.

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Chloe Clayton

Chloe from Worcestershire died exactly a year after she was diagnosed with a rare grade 4 brain tumour. She began to experience painful headaches and after trips back and forth to the GP, she was finally referred for an MRI scan which revealed devastating news of a mass on her brain. Months of radiotherapy couldn’t compete with the aggressiveness of the tumour and the cancer spread and Chloe died on 15 September 2016 at the age of 19, surrounded by her family. Six years after her death, her brother, Jordan is fundraising to help fund the fight and find a cure for the deadly disease.

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Michael Crayford

Michael Crayford, of Gillingham in Kent, was diagnosed with a rare immature teratoma, a type of intracranial germ cell tumour (GCT), in September 2016 after suffering with sudden headaches, blurred vision, sickness and balance problems. He underwent five brain surgeries, intensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy but died six months later, in March 2017. He was just 13 years old.

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All stories

David Leatherbarrow

Dave was just 34 and with two daughters aged five and two when he died from an aggressive glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in January 2015. Previously fit and healthy, his wife Diane felt he was taken away from them bit by bit as radiotherapy and chemotherapy changed him physically and mentally.

“Jessica was just a baby but it was so hard for Charlie and I tried to explain that daddy’s medicine was to blame. It got to the stage where not only was he behaving like someone else, he looked like someone else too. Dave was a big man, 6ft 1ins tall and toned. During his treatment he put on around five stones in weight and ballooned to around 19 stones. He needed all new clothes and even then wasn’t comfortable in anything. Despite this, he was still the person I loved more than anything and it was so hard to see him struggle with the physical and mental changes when, other than be there when he needed me, there was nothing more I could do.”
 
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Dean Wood

Dean was a healthy man who worked hard (up to 60 hours per week) as a builder, and then enjoyed a drink and playing pranks.  He loved his family and was very loyal to his friends – he had the same best friend since the age of seven.  When Dean was 27 he was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme grade IV which he fought with so much courage and his indomitable sense of humour; nevertheless he was cruelly taken from us just seven months later. 

“Dean will always remain in our thoughts and in our lives and we talk about him daily.  We don’t want to shy away from the scary parts of this illness; we want everybody to see how brave Dean was.  We, as a family, promise to continue the fight against brain tumours in his honour.”
 
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Debbie Coulson

Debbie was diagnosed with an aggressive glioblastoma (GBM) brain tumour just a short while after getting together with her partner Phil Holding, who she met at work. Having private health cover, Debbie underwent surgery and was treated at Harley Street Clinic, but survived just 13 months after diagnosis, passing away seven weeks before her daughter Vicky’s wedding, which she had been so involved in planning.

“Straightaway, I knew what was coming; I recognised the signs from when I lost my mum nine years previously. I checked with a nurse and she confirmed the worst. At 7am I called Debbie’s family and by 9am her brothers and sisters, her son, and mum and dad had all arrived. At midday on 21 July 2018, Debbie passed away, aged 58, with all of us by her side. Sadly, her daughter, who had been away on her ‘hen’ weekend arrived an hour too late.”

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Debbie Hale

Laura, her partner Kev and daughter Eva, are taking part in a Walk of Hope to help find a cure for the disease which took her Mum, Debbie, at the age of 58. Debbie outlived her prognosis but endured the loss of her only son as she struggled to cope with the physical and mental demands of her own illness. At her Mum’s request, Laura underwent radical surgery because she was genetically predisposed to getting breast cancer and ovarian cancer. The family has been left wondering why treatment options for brain tumours haven’t kept pace with other types of cancer such as those Laura was at risk of.

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Derek Lovatt

Derek Lovatt was a popular Burton Upon Trent photographer whose life was cut short by a brain tumour at the age of 56. Though his death in 2001 left a devastating hole in the hearts of his wife Jennifer and their three children Chris, Ellen and Richard, he created lasting memories for his family to cherish. Ellen, 44, is now taking part in the Brain Tumour Research charity’s On Yer Bike campaign, and through fundraising she ensures her dad’s legacy lives on.

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Diana Ford

In the beginning Diana only had very vague symptoms like never seeming to have enough sleep, or having a bit of a headache.  But as her youngest child, Finlay, was just two years old neither she, nor the family took it seriously.  However, around Christmas-time, there were various odd things which didn’t seem to stack up.  Diana seemed a bit vague, like she was not really listening, and not always understanding.  

Then came a week when Diana felt quite unwell and stayed in bed.  On the second day she got up to go to the GP who suggested she go to the hospital for blood tests, which she did with difficulty.  By Friday when Diana was leaving cups of tea untouched and complaining she had such a headache, I became really concerned.  I called the doctor and insisted he came out to her and I also called her husband, Nick and suggested he came home.  I thought Diana was having a mental breakdown or was very ill.
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Diane Wright

Mum was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 and fought bravely against this.  Two years later, she was given the all clear.  She continued to have annual screening and was always relieved with the positive results she continued to have. Read more

Dixie King

We are grateful to Dixie who worked with us in April 2021 to share his story here. Sadly, he passed away in March 2022 We remember Dixie as we continue our work to raise awareness of this devastating disease and to fund research to help find a cure. He will be forever in our hearts.

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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Donna Osbourne

Donna was healthy, apart from problems with high blood pressure which she probably inherited from her mother’s side of the family.  She had been going to see the GP about it, who thought it might be a thyroid problem.

On New Year’s Eve, 2007, we were with friends and Donna felt faint and dizzy, although she didn’t actually faint.  We sat her down and did all the things you do when someone feels faint.  There was even a lady on hand at the party who used to be a nurse.  We then decided to go home as Donna continued not feeling too good.  She woke up fine the next morning.
 
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Duncan Scott

Duncan was an extremely intelligent, kind and thoughtful man. He was an avid fan of Formula 1 and Le Mans. In June 2015 he was diagnosed with a grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme. After an 18 month battle, he passed away aged 55.  During the last weeks of his life he endured severe mental torture until he was admitted to a hospice where doctors and nurses were able to adjust his medication to prevent him from suffering anymore. 

Here is Duncan’s story as told by his sister, Gayle:

“Duncan’s passing has left a huge hole in my life, as well as the many people whose lives he touched. His funeral was extremely well attended with many people voicing how he had “changed their lives for the better”.  It seems so unfair that he was taken in his prime with so much joy to have and to give. I miss him dreadfully.”
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