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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 Cooper-Radley

Essex mum-of-two Jenny Cooper-Radley was diagnosed with a grade 2 meningioma following a trip to Boots Opticians in Chelmsford in October 2011. Her doctor, whom she had visited around five times in two months, had attributed her ‘feeling a bit hungover’ to possible vertigo, Meniere’s disease or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) and prescribed medication. It was only when the former nursery nurse began experiencing pain in her eyes that she made the opticians appointment which led to the discovery of her tumour. She went on to have a craniotomy but continues to suffer with debilitating facial pains and in July 2020 was told she had developed a new tumour, which is being monitored with regular scans. Now, having recently completed a Couch to 5k, the 49-year-old is training to run the London Marathon.

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Stuart Edwards

Father-of-two Stuart Edwards, from Devizes in Wiltshire, complained of ‘aching eyes’ two months prior to his shock diagnosis with a grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in April 2021.

After multiple surgeries, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, Stuart’s body began to grow weak from his treatment and his seizures returned. After an MRI scan confirmed the cancer had spread to his spine, Stuart received palliative care and he died aged 52 on 8 October 2021 in John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, with his loving family by his side.

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Albie Bayliss-Watts

Albie Bayliss-Watts, from Didcot in Oxfordshire, was just two years old when, in November 2021, he died from an aggressive brain tumour he’d been fighting for less than a year. Albie’s death has left his two mums, Lauren and Hayley, completely heart-broken. Having dedicated the last year of their lives to caring for Albie through gruelling surgeries and chemotherapy, they are now trying to deal with their grief by raising awareness and fundraising in his name.

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All stories

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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Albie Bayliss-Watts

Albie Bayliss-Watts, from Didcot in Oxfordshire, was just two years old when, in November 2021, he died from an aggressive brain tumour he’d been fighting for less than a year. Albie’s death has left his two mums, Lauren and Hayley, completely heart-broken. Having dedicated the last year of their lives to caring for Albie through gruelling surgeries and chemotherapy, they are now trying to deal with their grief by raising awareness and fundraising in his name.

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Alex Wilson

Alex Wilson, a lorry driver and father-of-one from Enniskillen in Northern Ireland, was  diagnosed with an aggressive, grade 4 brain tumour in June 2018. He went through two brain surgeries, radiotherapy and chemotherapy but succumbed to this terrible disease in February 2021, aged 31. Alex left behind a loving family, including his wife Jade and seven-year-old son, Ryan. 

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Alexander Paul

Alexander Paul from South London was 18 when he addressed the 2014 Conservative Party Conference and described his experience of policing policy. At the Conservative Party Conference in 2017 Theresa May informed her party that Alexander had died earlier that year from a brain tumour. Joanna Brown tells the devastating story of her son’s illness, the awful impact on her and the loss to society of a gifted individual who had so much to give.

“It is this sense of crushing loss, this waste of potential, that haunt my days. He did so much but could have done so much more. I did everything I could but I couldn’t save my son and our tragedy is a wider tragedy as society needs people like my son, Alexander.

I am angry and full of what ifs but we have his poetry, his humanity and his spirit as his legacy. We didn’t discuss his mortality, he didn’t leave us letters but he left us his prose and that comforts me. A book of his work was published a year on from his death and he would have been proud of that.”

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Alexandra Foulis

Our Fundraising Group, Alexandra’s Angels, is inspired by the story of Alexandra Foulis who died at the age of 24. Known to loved ones as Ally, she was a fun, outgoing and confident young woman whose life ended far too soon. She underwent surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy to halt a grade 3 astrocytoma but Ally passed away in August 2011. Through Alexandra’s Angels, her sisters Melissa and Rebecca are keeping Ally’s memory alive and funding the fight against brain tumours in her name.

“Not only had the tumour returned but it was back larger than before, now measuring 7cm. What’s worse, it was inoperable because it was too close to the nerves that controlled her breathing and heart-rate. We were all devastated to learn the tumour was now terminal. Ally being Ally, tried to lift the mood, saying: ‘Well, it ain’t over till the fat lady sings, and I ain’t singing yet!’”

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Alison Phelan

The year 2000 approached - a new millennium and a new beginning. New years always made me sad, looking back at our happy life wondering what was ahead. 

In May I became unsettled but didn’t know why, when my life was so complete. Then I became aware that Alison had developed a subtle incomplete movement in her eye that only a mother would notice. I took her to the doctor who referred me to an optician who said it was common and would correct itself.

Gary and I would talk and talk about it.  I knew something was wrong.  I went back to the doctor then to another optician. “Please someone listen to me”.  I started to make Gary nervous.  He knew I knew the children so well.

I went to a third optician - Gary was on a school trip with one of the boys but I went on the spur of the moment.  I hated this feeling in my stomach telling me to act and act now!

They did test after test, and then told me to go to A&E with a letter that something was making the muscles in her eye deteriorate. Gary was only 5 minutes away; we dropped the boys off and went to the hospital. They said they couldn’t see anything but told us to go to a leading eye hospital the next day.
 
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Aman Sumal

We are grateful to Aman, and his brother Anoop, who worked with us in October 2021 to share his story here. Sadly, he passed away in December 2021. We remember Aman 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.

Young father Aman Sumal had everything to look forward to when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour after suffering a seizure and headaches in August 2020. Initially, it was thought he had a low-grade tumour and he was given anti-seizure medication and referred for three-monthly scans. However, after having another seizure five months later, an MRI showed areas of concern and he underwent debulking surgery, with COVID-19 restrictions preventing anyone from being by his side. A biopsy of his tumour revealed that it was, in fact, a grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and the 36-year-old, of Ruislip in West London, underwent chemotherapy and intensive radiotherapy while his family privately funded a protocol with a naturopath from Australia. Sadly, Aman has continued to deteriorate and, having now exhausted all his options on the NHS, his family have turned to crowdfunding to raise the money needed to pay for private immunotherapy treatment and specifically-formulated vaccines.

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Amita Charavda

Along with her husband Mahendra, Amita had owned a shop called “Lucky Jewellers” on Belgrave Road – Leicester’s Golden Mile for nearly 40 years.  She was looking forward to enjoying retirement and having more leisure time to spend with family and enjoy lovely holidays.  Tragically, she passed away from a brain tumour, aged 55, just three months after diagnosis.

Here is Amita’s story as told by her daughter, Sneha…

“The speed in which we lost Mum was so shocking.  I couldn’t believe that in this day and age Mum could have something which was incurable.”
 
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Amy Quin

We are grateful to Amy who worked with us in May 2017 to share their story here. Sadly, she passed away in 2019. We remember Amy as we continue our work to raise awareness of this devastating disease and to fund research to help find a cure. She will be forever in our hearts.

Determined mum Amy Quin will mark the first anniversary of her brain tumour diagnosis by skydiving 15,000ft from a plane with her sisters. The trio are raising money for the charity Brain Tumour Research. With a prognosis of five to seven years, Amy is hopeful that research will help to identify new treatments which would mean her tumour is operable giving her precious time with her family including partner Lewis and their four-year-old son Hector.


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Andrea Thursfield

Andrea passed away just nine months after being diagnosed with a grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain tumour. She was 46. The mother of a teenager and much-loved partner of Nick Butler, she underwent surgery, chemo- and radiotherapy but could not be saved. She and Nick had a short-lived romance as teenagers and then met again by chance 21 years later.

Nick tells Andrea’s story …

I first met Andrea when I was 19. We went out a couple of times but then I went away to work and we lost touch. More than two decades had gone by and we had both had our 40th birthdays by the time we met again by chance in July 2005. We bumped into each other in a pub. I had always hoped that somehow, somewhere, I would see her again but had no idea what she was doing or where she was. It turns out that, unknowingly, we lived very close to each other in Perton, Wolverhampton. She tottered over on her heels and we chatted, it ended up with her inviting me round for a cup of tea and she said: “Don’t cock it up this time!” It seems we both held a candle for each other after all that time. She had a young son, Ryan, from a previous relationship but neither of us had married. Things moved on and we each sold our houses in order to buy a property together to make a home for us and Ryan.
 
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