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In Our Hearts

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

The diagnosis of a brain tumour is devastating for the patient, their family and friends. 

For these people life will never be the same again.

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

Premila Patel

Premila Patel died two years after being diagnosed with a tumour in her left frontal lobe. In hindsight, her daughters believe the disease had been there for many years, if not decades, and that Premila’s changing personality may have been a result of it. The 67-year-old left a gift in her will to Brain Tumour Research in the hope that future generations won’t have to endure this devastating disease.

Read more

Rachael Sherlock

Rachael Sherlock was a fun-loving, sociable five-year-old whose life was cruelly cut short by a brain tumour. At such a young age, she underwent an operation, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Rachael died in 1985, leaving her mum Julie, dad Tony, and little sister Hannah; she was never able to meet her youngest siblings David and Rebecca. Then, thirty years on from Rachael’s death, the family faced further devastation, when David was also diagnosed with the disease at the age of 26.

Read more

Andrew Atkinson-Whitton

Andrew Atkinson-Whitton loved life. In his 37 years, he touched so many lives with his infectious smile and happy-go lucky nature. Andrew kept smiling even when he was diagnosed with a grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and had to undergo intensive surgery and treatment but the tumour was too aggressive. He died 20 July 2018, just 14 months after diagnosis, leaving his husband Carl, mum Jill and brother Robert.

Read more

All stories

Naseem Pishvaie

Destined for a bright future as a performer, Naseem Pishvaie battled with an aggressive glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain tumour for three years. She first became ill just a year after following her dream by attending a school for the performing arts. In the difficult times that followed she managed to keep her sense of humour and remained positive. She died in 2009, just a few weeks short of what would have been her 22nd birthday. 

“My daughter was always beautiful and remarkable but the depth of her beauty was never more apparent than in the courage with which she faced her illness. To battle such a serious illness and treatment with its undesirable side effects showed tremendous bravery, dignity and determination. We have been told that she was an inspiration to the patients she knew at the hospice day centre which she attended weekly.”
Read more

Neville Holt

Neville was a loving husband and proud father and grandfather of two sons, a daughter and four grandchildren.  Once his brain tumour was finally diagnosed, he survived barely another 14 weeks, yet his GP had insisted his symptoms were down to a mild stroke.  He was physically very fit, enjoyed his garden and walked regularly. Read more

Ng Tin Kau

Ray’s father was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme in 2007 and given a prognosis of just a few months, yet for nearly a year he defied the doctors’ predictions and made spectacular progress until the tumour returned with a vengeance and he lost his battle.

Here is Ng Tin Kau’s story…

“Since being adopted that six month period spent with my [biological] dad was the longest we had spent together.  It brings back memories of great happiness, whilst also being so incredibly traumatic.”
Read more

Nick Cotton

Nick was a loving and intelligent man with a great sense of humour, who loved life.  He had only been married six months when he was diagnosed with an aggressive anaplastic oligodendroglioma brain tumour.  Less than 10 months later, at the age of 30, Nick passed away, having exhausted all known treatments. Read more

Nicki Waterman

Nicki Waterman, one of the UK's foremost fitness experts and The Sun columnist, was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive brain tumour in 2015. Pioneering immunotherapy treatment prolonged her life and she was able to see her son marry and spend time with her precious grandchildren, before rapidly declining. Nicki died in August 2016, just 15 months after her diagnosis, leaving her family and friends heartbroken.

“We thought our Mummy was invincible, my brother Harry and I. She was always incredibly fit and healthy with so much energy... Brain tumours like hers are too aggressive; they just don’t have enough new, effective treatments to offer patients.”
Read more

Nigel Balsdon

Plumber Nigel was buried on his 57th birthday, leaving behind his wife, Anita, and their four children. Just one year before, the couple had been celebrating Nigel apparently beating four brain tumours by renewing their wedding vows on a “holiday of a lifetime” cruise. He died 37 months after being diagnosed with several grade four glioblastoma multiforme.

“To look at the person you love and see such shock and horror in their face… it’s not something I ever want to see again… Each day was stomach-churningly horrible. I stayed with him after he died, talking to him and crying.”

Read more

Nigel Barber

Nigel passed away in June 2013, two years after being diagnosed with an aggressive grade IV glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain tumour. Prior to his diagnosis, he was fit and living a busy life as a husband and father of two sons, now aged 31 and 26, working as a ‘rocket scientist’, and enjoying sailing on the south coast. Read more

Nigel Legg

Father-of-two Nigel Legg was enjoying life and when he started to experience problems with his balance, hearing and eyesight. After numerous trips to doctors Nigel was finally referred for a CT scan where it was revealed he had a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a very aggressive form of brain tumour, and given the prognosis of 14 months. Sadly, Nigel died just six weeks later, leaving behind his wife Juliet and sons Michael and Jamie.


“When the results came in that Nigel had a brain tumour my heart stopped beating. They explained that they would need to do a biopsy to get a formal diagnosis. But we both knew it was serious.”

Read more

Oli Hilsdon

Sadly, Oli passed away on 6th January 2019. This story was written before his passing but will be updated fully at a time appropriate for his family to whom we send our sincerest condolences.

Oli grew up in Buckingham, attending Bourton Meadow Primary and the Royal Latin Grammar School.  He was a keen member of Buckingham Rugby Club and enjoyed running to keep fit. Oli left the Latin with A’ levels in Maths, Further Maths and Economics and then went on to Cambridge University to study Economics, where he was also able to continue playing rugby.  He now works for Blackstone, an American Private Equity company in London.
Read more

Oscar Long

Primary school pupil Oscar was just six when he was taken ill. Within days he was diagnosed with an incurable and untreatable diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) brain tumour. Diagnosed at half term, he never made it back to school, but died at home a fortnight later surrounded by those he loved.

“Oscar had a brain tumour. It was aggressive and incurable. There wasn’t even any treatment which would have given us more time. We should take him home and make the most of the precious days we had left. Our precious boy never even made it back to school. He died in November 2002, just two weeks after his diagnosis. He was six.”

Read more

Pam Delome

Pam was the proud mother of four children, five grandchildren and two great grandchildren. She used to go out to the US for six months over the winter every year to visit her sons and daughter who lived there and it was on one of these visits that her daughter first became aware of certain personality changes.  Eventually Pam was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme grade IV.  She passed away just over a year later in 2011 Read more

Pamela Kinnersley

When mum-of-two Pamela Kinnersley was struck down with what appeared to be an ear infection in May 2014, she thought she was just under the weather. However further tests and scans revealed something more sinister. She had a grade four glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), an aggressive type of brain tumour. Unsuitable for surgery and adamant she didn’t want radiotherapy, Pamela chose to live her life to the full for as long as she could. Unfortunately, she died just three months later at the age of 56, leaving behind her husband, two children and two grandchildren.

“When the consultant came a few hours later to talk through her CT scans, my suspicions were confirmed. He explained she had suffered a bleed on her brain from a tumour and the neuro-oncologists at the nearby James Cook Hospital would be able to speak to us about the next steps. Though the formal diagnosis hadn’t been said, I think we all knew then that this was serious.”

Read more

Pamela Rawnsley

Jeweller and silversmith Pamela Rawnsley was struck down with a glioblastoma multiforme brain tumour and died at the age of 62, 99 days after diagnosis. Widely considered to be at the height of her creative powers with much more to give, Pamela’s work was inspired largely by a reaction to places and she loved the wildness of the landscape and the weather in the Brecon Beacons where she lived and worked.

“Brain tumours, it seems, are a unique enemy. They appear to be unprovoked. They can be dissembling, insidious, masters of disguise. Their forces come in a complex variety of forms. When attacked, they can retaliate at once with sometimes overwhelming power. They move fast, often unpredictably. They are equipped with impressive layers of armour. They pick out children. They have terrible weapons that we struggle to match. Their numbers are growing. Doesn’t it shame us that we fail to meet this unique enemy on equal terms?” 
Read more

Paul Daniels

“It is important to me to share Paul’s story because I want to help other people. Paul was one of those people who genuinely lit up a room when he walked in and I want people to know how this cruel disease stripped him of everything within a few short weeks to the point where he collapsed on the bathroom floor and I held him as he wept and asked me what was happening to him." Read more

Paul Emsley

Paul was a fitness instructor and personal trainer who focused on rehabilitating cancer and cardiac patients. He was also a gorgeous husband to Julie. In April 2017 he was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme grade 4 (GBM). Less than a year later, Paul passed away. Julie will never get over his loss. He was only 54 years old and had so much to do and look forward to.

“There is growing evidence that brain tumours are on the increase and the type of tumour Paul had is progressively hitting a younger age group. Life expectancy and quality of life are particularly viciously compromised by GBMs.”

Read more

Paul Halfpenny

Paul was just starting out on married life when he was diagnosed with a benign brain tumour, which later became malignant.  His courage and determination to leave a lasting legacy for others diagnosed with brain tumours saw him raising tens of thousands of pounds to fund vital research to find more effective treatments and ultimately a cure.

Read more

Paul Mills

Paul was enjoying life with his family in Singapore. With a great career and a busy social life, they were living their dreams. But within months he was diagnosed with a grade IV glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain tumour. He passed away 20 months later leaving wife Emma and young son Thomas. Read more

Paul Mitchell

Paul was a loving husband and father of four year old John James when he was diagnosed with possible depression in 2001.  Instinctively his wife knew that this was not the correct diagnosis, but she never expected that the underlying cause of his illness was a brain tumour which was to take his life in just 18 months. Read more

Paul Richardson

Paul Richardson, a popular and much-loved policeman, was diagnosed with an inoperable anaplastic astrocytoma at the age of 45 – the same disease which killed his dad 13 years previously. He was booked in for radiotherapy but sadly he died before his treatment began. More than a decade later, Paul’s memory lives on as strong as ever with his wife Jill, children Helen and Mark, and granddaughters Megan and Freya.

“It’s been a long time since Dad died but it can still feel so raw. I miss him the most when I think about all the parts of my life that I won’t be able to share with him… The disease has robbed us of so many memories.”

Read more

Paul Van-Zandvliet

Sadly, Paul passed away in June 2017. This story was written before his passing but will be updated fully at a time appropriate for his family to whom we send our sincerest condolences.

A well-known former member of the rugby world and a key player in the Newcastle Falcons Premiership-winning team of 1998, Paul, 49, is taking on the fight of his life. Having been diagnosed with three types of cancer, the North Shields father of five is now focusing on spending quality time with his family, fundraising and raising awareness.

“You can’t imagine how my family and I felt on discovering that I had three types of cancer, having gone to the hospital just to have my back pain assessed.”
Read more

Paula Wassenaar

When Ingrid Wassenaar’s mum, Paula, was diagnosed with a brain tumour, she never underestimated the hardship that would ensue. However, the shocking realisation that an individual’s financial situation, good or bad, determines their end-of-life care soon added to her heartbreak.

“We were still reeling from Mum’s diagnosis and prognosis, when we found ourselves standing in hospital corridors, being told there was no possibility of a hospice place for our mother. Her financial situation meant that the only NHS hospice in the area was not available to her. Instead, she was left with no option but to go to a non-specialised nursing home, paying huge fees. We knew that a hospice would have been better placed to meet her needs, but it simply wasn’t available.”

Read more

Penny Rowland

Penny and I met in 2004 – she was a lovely-looking lady and an excellent dancer. We had lots of fun going to dance classes together until, following her diagnosis with a brain tumour in 2009, she went on to experience dizziness and had to stop.

Early in 2015 Penny started to have mobility problems, which by October 2016 had become particularly pronounced. The last year was a nightmare as we looked everywhere to find a way to extend Penny’s life. In the end there was no more treatment available and she passed away.

“It is disturbing that there aren’t more potential drugs in clinical trials – brain tumour patients generally don’t have any time to waste, yet palliative care and support is very costly. I am passionate that we need to do significantly more to stop patients getting to this stage because the lives of whole families and their friends are completely devastated while they wait for the inevitable to happen.”

Read more

Peter Barltrop

Pete was an electronic engineer working for BT, a loving husband and a proud father of two grown-up daughters – Alice and Emma.  A gentle, kind and fun-loving man, he would do anything for “his girls”.  Following a series of seizures, a bleed on the brain and subsequent surgery, Pete was diagnosed with a grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme (GBM4).

“Whilst it is a mystery how Pete died, and whilst cancer and its rigorous treatment most certainly had some part to play, we are all glad that he didn’t die of the tumour.  I tell myself that we have been blessed.  Even though at 60 Pete was very young to die, we were saved from the inevitable slow and agonising process, which sadly so many brain tumour patients have to endure.”

Read more

Peter Shortman

When Peter Shortman suddenly lost sight in one eye, causing him to crash his lorry, a devastating chain of events was set in motion.

Aged only 54, Peter was diagnosed with a high-grade glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and given only four weeks to live. Happily married for over 20 years and father to two teenagers, Peter never expected his life to turn upside down so drastically.

He had a grade four glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a highly aggressive type of brain tumour, and although the surgeons attempted to remove it, after the operation Peter was told surgery hadn’t been successful. After that devastating news, Peter was sent home to live the rest of his days in comfort but there was nothing comfortable about the months to come.”

Read more

Phil Barnes

Phil was just 63 when he was diagnosed with a grade IV glioblastoma multiforme.  Less than a month later he was dead.  We never had any inkling that his condition was so serious. Read more

Phil Blackmore

When Phil Blackmore was diagnosed with a low-grade brain tumour in April 2016, he refused to let it define him. Phil told only six people about his illness and life went on. His sudden death eight months later, on New Year’s Eve, shook family and friends to the core, but Phil will always be remembered as the sporty and driven person who lived his life to the absolute fullest. 

“I went along with Phil for the results and we were both shocked when the consultant said the words ‘low-grade glioma’. The scans showed a large white mass, the size of my fist, clouding over his brain.”
 
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Phil Coles

Phil lived for seven years following the diagnosis of a brain tumour in 1998.  His illness was a long and difficult emotional journey for his close family - although he remained brave, stoical and accepting of his condition throughout.

“Phil remained very brave and stoical about his illness.  He knew he was going to die and told me that this would be our last Christmas together.”
Read more

Prem Bedi

Husband, father, and grandfather, Prem Bedi was diagnosed with an aggressive glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain tumour after his family noticed personality changes. The usually quiet man who loved Bollywood music and was a talented singer, became forgetful which made him frustrated. He passed away just a few months later.

“Prem’s first love was music and I believe we were the first couple to have a live Asian band to play at our wedding. Music was Prem’s life and his passion. He would beat out rhythms on the kitchen table as we sang the old numbers together. I miss him so very much and am so, so lost without him.”
Read more

Premila Patel

Premila Patel died two years after being diagnosed with a tumour in her left frontal lobe. In hindsight, her daughters believe the disease had been there for many years, if not decades, and that Premila’s changing personality may have been a result of it. The 67-year-old left a gift in her will to Brain Tumour Research in the hope that future generations won’t have to endure this devastating disease.

Read more

Rachael Sherlock

Rachael Sherlock was a fun-loving, sociable five-year-old whose life was cruelly cut short by a brain tumour. At such a young age, she underwent an operation, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Rachael died in 1985, leaving her mum Julie, dad Tony, and little sister Hannah; she was never able to meet her youngest siblings David and Rebecca. Then, thirty years on from Rachael’s death, the family faced further devastation, when David was also diagnosed with the disease at the age of 26.

Read more

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