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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

Sean Crossey

Sean was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain tumour in August 2016, aged 27. He remained positive throughout three brain surgeries, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, marrying his beloved Laura in June 2018.  Tragically, there was nothing which could save him and he passed away in September 2018, aged just 29.

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Kieran O’Sullivan

Wing Commander Kieran O’Sullivan personified his Royal Air Force service motto – Per Ardua ad Astra – Through adversity to the stars. He was a much-loved husband, son, friend and colleague, known to many as TGP, “The Ginger Prince”. Among his coworkers he was renowned for his exceptional talent, professionalism, ambition and good humour; he had a voracious appetite for work and an unwavering sense of determination combined with a boundless optimism. Cited as having the potential to rise to Air Commodore, Kieran tragically had to give up the career he loved in September 2018. This account was written by Kieran over a number of months. He passed away in November 2018, at the age of 44, almost 17 years after being diagnosed with a brain tumour and just two months after leaving the RAF. 
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Tony Brassington

Popular engineer Tony Brassington, who lived in Lower Tean, Staffordshire, died just 10 months after his diagnosis with a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), aged 65. A doting grandad, he left his wife Wendy, their five children and seven grandchildren. Desperate to raise awareness of the disease, his family are organising a fundraising walk in his memory.

Here is Tony’s story, as told by his daughter, Leanne…

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All stories

Isabella Coomber

Diagnosed with a brain tumour at just 14 months, Isabella defied the odds to outlive her prognosis before she passed away aged five, at home in her mother’s arms, with her three doting sisters kissing her goodbye. Despite her illness, Isabella remained a happy child who loved to sing and dance, to play with her dolls and feel the wind in her hair. She went to school whenever she could and is much missed by so many.

“It was very touching that, as the funeral procession passed school, the teachers were standing by the fence and her classmates were in the playground, calling out ‘Here’s Isabella’ and waving. I don’t feel angry about what happened but I do feel a great sense of sadness that Isabella didn’t get the chance to grow up. I will be forever grateful for the doctor’s honesty which allowed me to accept that, sometimes you have to settle for quality of life rather than quantity, and this allowed me to ensure we gave her the best life possible.”

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Jack D'Lima

Jack was only a toddler when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour but, despite battling for his life for more than eight years, he lost the fight.  His parents feel consumed and suffocated by the emptiness they are left with, but they have to pick up the shattered pieces and rebuild their lives for the sake of their other two sons. Read more

Jacob James-Pryce

Baby Jacob was born on 29th November 2014, a second child for Julie and Andy and a beloved brother to Jessica who was just two. Initially diagnosed with a respiratory infection, Jacob’s condition deteriorated and he was admitted to hospital where an aggressive glioblastoma brain tumour was discovered. He underwent surgery but died two days later. He was just three months old.                                                                                   

“To lose a child is the worst possible thing and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. We talk about Jacob every day, Jessica says good morning and goodnight to him and chats about him as she rides her bike, imagining he would be doing the same thing. We knew nothing about brain tumours before this happened. Now they are a part of our lives. It doesn’t make sense to think that brain tumours kill more children and adults under 40 than any other cancer yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research is allocated to this devastating disease. Jacob had his whole life ahead of him. If anything good is to come out of this it will be that more money will be invested in research.”
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James Campling

Inspirational friend, son and hero Corporal James Campling was diagnosed with a brain tumour in June 2016. Despite this diagnosis, James, along with family, friends and comrades, was able to raise over £30,000 for Brain Tumour Research.

This continued James’ life-long devotion to those in need, whether through his career as a Royal Air Force Aeromedical Evacuation Specialist or his charitable work for a range of good causes, from educating children in Malawi to fundraising for The Blue Cross.

James passed away on 10th April 2018 and was honoured with a military funeral.

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James Manning

James just wanted to carry on as normal after he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. He endured surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, but still managed to make his 4am shifts at work, providing for his wife Samantha and their two young children. James saw his favourite band Guns N’ Roses just a short time after leaving hospital in 2017.  He suffered dreadful personality changes at the hands of his tumour together with memory and speech difficulties.  He will always be remembered as a gentle giant and a loving dad. 

“The doctors reassured us that James’ tumour wasn’t aggressive, and there was no immediate rush to operate, but deep down I feared that it would never be cured and we could one day lose him. I was angry at myself for not recognising the signs. The headaches, sickness, the personality changes; all that time we never imagined that James had a brain tumour.”

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Jane Packer

Jane Packer was busy revolutionising the world of floristry and raising a family when she was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour that turned out to be a glioblastoma grade 4. Following gruelling treatment, Jane was able to return to work and live a normal life until a stroke six years later heralded the return of the tumour. After she passed away in 2011, her husband, Gary Wallis, set up the Jane Packer Foundation in her memory.     

“During the years of her illness, we busily researched the treatment options available and were shocked to find out that brain tumour research was so seriously underfunded in the UK.”

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Janet Copland

When charity volunteer Janet Copland, 74, started getting confused and forgetful over Christmas 2013, her husband and two daughters initially thought it was dementia. The family were devastated to be told that her symptoms were actually caused by an aggressive brain tumour that required urgent surgery. Janet’s early optimism was later dimmed by radiotherapy and rapid decline. She died just eight months later.

“We lost my mother in eight months but the tumour took hold before any of us were aware what was happening. Life can change at any moment.”

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Janet Disney

Wife, mother and grandmother Janet Disney passed away just weeks after being diagnosed with a primary malignant brain tumour. She had lived her whole life in Wellington, Somerset, and was married to Steve for 36 years. The couple were members of the United Reformed Church and Janet, a keen baker who loved her holidays, was 74 when she died in June 2015.
                                                                               
“We had to wait for the scan results. We told the consultant we were due to go away for a few days to our caravan and it was agreed we should still go. As it happened, we were on our way to Dorset when the call came. It was devastating and I was in tears as I was told that Janet had an inoperable brain tumour on the left hand side and that, eventually, her right side would diminish. In fact, her whole body was affected for the last six weeks or so of her life. She relied on me completely for the last month and, as any husband would, I did everything for her.”

 
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Janette "Jay" Sherrell

Jay Sherrell passed away in May 2015, a little over three years after being diagnosed with a grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme. She was 43 and left two young children, an identical twin sister, an older brother and sister plus her mum.

“Although we had known for some time that this moment was coming, I was still extremely shocked when Jay died and, to start with, didn’t really cope at all. I truly felt as if I had lost my shadow. It was as if someone had cut off my arm. I still dream about her a lot and have flashbacks of the times that we were teenagers doing silly things. I talk to her all the time as if she is still here with me. Of course I miss her like mad but I see her every day when I look in the mirror.”
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Jayendra V Patel

Dad, or JV (as he was always known), found out he had a grade IV glioblastoma multiforme in his temporal lobe on his birthday and two weeks before his eldest daughter was due to get married.  Just over a year later, his immediate family were all present when JV died.

“Mum is overwhelmed with the amount of help she is now receiving from the local community since my father’s death.  She and Dad were one of the first Indian families to settle in Bristol.  Everyone is doing as much as they can to fundraise so that ultimately a cure can be found for brain tumours and so that other families will not have to endure watching their loved one deteriorate and die like we did.”
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