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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

Jacob Goodall

Jacob Henry Sloan Goodall was just four months old when he died from an atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumour (ATRT) in November 2016. Concerns were first raised when Jacob had acid reflux problems, and, after several trips to the GP, Jacob had a scan at hospital which revealed the tumour. Jacob’s mum, Kate, is taking on the 10,000 Steps a Day in February challenge to raise money for Brain Tumour Research.

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Alice Rose Johnson

 Alice Johnson, of Sheringham in Norfolk, was diagnosed with a high-grade ependymoma, aged three, in September 2001 after experiencing symptoms including tiredness, sensitivity to sounds, headaches and dizziness. She underwent surgery and chemotherapy after which she quickly regained strength and energy. However, over the following 21 years she endured a further five surgeries, chemotherapy and three courses of radiotherapy. Having exhausted all of her treatment options, she died in July 2022 at the age of 24.

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Mark Bellerby

Mark Bellerby, 57, from Billingham, Durham, was given medication for anxiety and depression in September 2022 following changes in his behaviour. However, shortly after, the dad-of-two collapsed at home and was taken to hospital where a scan revealed a glioblastoma (GBM) had been the cause of his symptoms. His wife, Sally, nursed him at home until he died on 4 January 2023. Sally is taking on the 10,000 Steps a Day in February challenge to raise money for Brain Tumour Research.

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All stories

Ashley Shameli

Ashley Shameli was 22 and training to be a solicitor when he was diagnosed with a grade two astrocytoma brain tumour after suffering a massive epileptic seizure. He underwent several operations with the pioneering brain surgeon Henry Marsh and endured gruelling chemotherapy and radiotherapy. He lived for another eight years and died aged 30, leaving his beloved mum Jeanette, his dad, his older sister Shardi and younger brother Shervin.

“When Ashley was born I was six-and-a-half. I remember being so proud to be the big sister of such a beautiful, happy little boy. My other brother, Shervin, was born a year and half later. The three of us were exceptionally close as children and lived together when we moved to London. I will never forget Ashley’s beautiful smile, his cheeky dimple, his twinkling eyes and his kindness. He adored his family and we adored him.”
 
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Asmat Chaudry

Father-of-three Asmat Chaudry was diagnosed with a grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in April 2013 after suffering a seizure at home and losing feeling in his left side. He had been experiencing some forgetfulness in the weeks prior but was otherwise a fit and active 74-year-old. He underwent brain surgery and radiotherapy but died 15 months later, during the most sacred days of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

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Atif Hanif

Atif was a loving father and husband and at the pinnacle of his career at a prestigious London law firm when he was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain tumour, dying two years later. Now his wife finds comfort in the fact that Atif has left his legacy in both of their daughters.

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Aurora Provenzano

Aurora was just six years old with her whole life ahead of her when she was diagnosed with a brain tumour.  She fought a brave battle for three and a half years, but sadly lost the fight, leaving her parents and two sisters, Isabella and Chiara with a huge hole in their family.  

Aurora only ever had one fit and that was it - she was otherwise completely healthy.  Yet in 2006 we found ourselves at our local hospital where an MRI scan revealed Aurora had a brain tumour.  When  Aurora was diagnosed it felt like I was having an out of body experience.  I was pregnant with my third daughter and it seemed like I was looking down at myself, not knowing what to think.
 
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Ava Ball

Ava’s mother was alarmed to find a lump on the back of her two-month-old baby’s head, but was told by her GP it was a soft spot. The lump had grown to the size of a tennis ball when Ava finally had an MRI scan, aged seven months. A biopsy determined the lump was a primary malignant melanocytic brain tumour with intra as well as extra-cranial components. After surgery, there was nothing more which could be done to save little Ava and she passed away in her mummy’s arms, aged just eight months.

 

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Barry Albin-Dyer OBE

When respected Bermondsey undertaker and family man, Barry Albin-Dyer OBE, started seeing zig zags in front of his eyes, he could not have guessed that a scan would reveal a very aggressive brain tumour near his optical nerve. Determined to survive and be a “Bermondsey boy for years to come”, he underwent gruelling treatments, documented his battle in his blog, and sadly died less than two years later.           

“Barry, being Barry, was determined to keep going in to work every day he could. “I’ve got to keep on going,” he would declare, “or I’m a dead man.” Barry had a strong will and a strong Catholic faith, and two those things helped him get through it. He never wanted the cancer to take him over and stop him doing the things he loved. I’ve always thought that was what kept him alive for as long as he was.”

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Becky Speirs


Becky had been suffering with increasingly bad headaches and then vomiting for about 3 months and it was starting to get worse.  The doctors missed the signs and failed to diagnose a brain tumour, but I don’t blame them.  The outcome would have been the same. 

Eventually in May 2009 she collapsed and was taken to hospital where a scan indicated a brain tumour.  We were given the official diagnosis on Becky’s 39th birthday – 28th May.  She had a glioblastoma multiforme with a prognosis of 12 to 14 months.  The neuro-surgeon was unable to get the entire tumour out and said that it was the most aggressive one he had ever seen
 
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Becky Vines

Becky was just 23 when she was diagnosed with a grade four glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain tumour and told she had a year to live. She outlived the prognosis, surviving for nine years, and despite being told her extensive treatment would leave her infertile, gave birth to a “miracle” daughter who was seven when she lost her mum in June 2017.

“Although there was no change in Becky’s tumour for six years its presence was always there, casting a shadow, and it was as if we lived on a knife-edge as we waited anxiously from one scan appointment to the next. Becky was really positive where I was more realistic and ensured her daughter Phoebe was prepared from the beginning for what was likely to happen. Phoebe had always known she was going to lose her mum and we are now her Moma and Popa. She is a delightful child, so much like Becky and it is hard not to cry as she catches me unawares by saying things like how much she misses her mum’s warm hands and I know exactly what she means.”

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Ben Parton

Ben was just 11 when he started to experience symptoms including sickness. A month later he was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme and his devastated mum was told he had less than two years to live. He underwent surgery and treatment, but sadly died just eight months later in December 2019. His twin brother Jack was diagnosed with leukaemia shortly afterwards and is now undergoing treatment.

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Ben Whitehouse

Ben Whitehouse was travelling on a train with his girlfriend Rachel when he suffered a severe seizure. He was taken straight to hospital where he was diagnosed with a high- grade glioblastoma brain tumour. The couple were married in Hampshire in April 2012 and just days after they returned from honeymoon in Cambodia, Ben became ill once more. He passed away three years after his diagnosis. He was 34.  

“We had been married for just 15 months when Ben died. I never imagined that after such a short time I would be on my own. In those last few weeks when he was so ill we talked a lot. He deteriorated so fast but I kept talking to him although I don’t know how much he understood or even heard. Life is still hard but at least we had the chance to say goodbye.”

 
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