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.
You are forever in our hearts.
Recently published stories
Susan was diagnosed with ‘lesions on the brain’ in November 2010 and died just six weeks later, aged 42. As well as being a very special wife, mother-of-two and daughter, Sue was a committed and integral member of her North London, Roman Catholic parish and was always on hand to support, listen and help people in crisis, even when she had problems of her own.
We are grateful to Morgan and his wife Elisha, who worked with us in December 2020 to share his story here. Sadly, Morgan passed away on 10th January 2021. We remember Morgan 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.
Morgan was 22, engaged to his childhood sweetheart and a proud dad to one-year-old Riley when he started having seizures and was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain tumour. He did his best to keep his young family positive whilst going through chemotherapy treatment during the coronavirus pandemic, but then received heart-breaking news that the tumour was continuing to grow and all treatment was being stopped.
Ava BallAva’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.
Christopher ToddHusband, father, and grandfather, Christopher Todd was 63 when he was diagnosed with an aggressive grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme brain tumour after suffering violent headaches and stroke-like symptoms. As he underwent surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy his daughter Vicky set about raising funding for research to help get him better. With the support of his family, Christopher fought his illness but passed away in hospital in November 2016 at the age of 65.
“When dad was diagnosed I just couldn’t understand how this could happen. How can so many people have brain tumours yet so little be known? I was flabbergasted to learn that brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer yet receive so little funding. How can it be right that just 1% of the national spend on cancer research is allocated to this devastating disease? I cannot sit by and let this happen so I set about fundraising for Brain Tumour Research to help my dad get better.”
As a great-great grandmother, Claire’s pride and joy was her family and, aged 84, she was still able to drive, cook and care for friends and relatives. But, in November 2017, she suffered a seizure. Diagnosed with several brain tumours, her illness had irreversible effects on her personality and towards the end of her life she wasn’t even able to recognise her children. Since losing her mum, Claire’s daughter Amanda has fundraised for the Brain Tumour Research charity, and she is determined to raise awareness of how dreadful the disease can be.
“When Mum was discharged from hospital, it was horrible to see how badly the tumours affected her. She could no longer do the things she loved; she didn’t read, she struggled to make a cup of tea, and, no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t even put letters in the boxes of her daily crossword. Her whole life was turned upside down.”Read more
Claire HollisterMy darling daughter, Claire, had her life cut short by a brain tumour - the very same disease which had killed my sister, Valerie, 10 years previously. Claire was just 30 years old when she passed away, just 14 months after diagnosis with a grade IV gliosarcoma.
“It was at this point I realised the “small lump” must be life threatening. It all felt so unreal - to go from everything being so normal and then there we were looking this deadly disease in the eye.”
Clive GathercoleHusband and father of four boys, Clive Gathercole was eventually diagnosed with a glioblastoma brain tumour after suffering months of health problems. He died in August 2012.
“In my anger I thought about complaining about the terrible care we received and the problems with securing a proper diagnosis, but I am not sure looking back at the past negatively is helpful, so instead as a family we are forging ahead with our fundraising plans to fund more research into brain tumours. I would hate to think of other families facing what we have been through, and think the lack of awareness of this disease is a tragedy in its own right.”
Colin Burt, from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, was 49 when he died from a brain tumour he had bravely fought for five years. Colin was happily married to Fiona and together they enjoyed a life full of love, travel and music. Colin underwent two brain surgeries and several courses of radiotherapy before his treatment options eventually ran out. He died at home in August 2019, leaving his 43-year-old wife Fiona heartbroken and facing the rest of her life without her ‘soulmate’.Read more
Passionate flat-green bowler Colin Shaw was 69 years old and 11 years into his retirement when he collapsed unexpectedly. Initially thinking it was a reaction to malaria tablets taken in preparation for a forthcoming holiday, he and his wife were shocked to learn that he had an aggressive grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain tumour.
With a second tumour discovered nine months later, Colin lost his fight only 18 months after the first diagnosis, with his family all around him.
“If there is such a thing as a perfect death, Colin had it. We were all there, me and our three daughters, when he quietly slipped away.”
Freelance writer and loving wife Collette had plans for a blissful retirement with her husband of 29 years, Reinhard. However, after being diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme in August 2016, her dreams of travelling and relaxing were tragically cut short. She faced her illness with optimism and courage, bringing laughter to all those around her, until she sadly passed away at the age of 65 with her husband at her bedside.
“I could see that she was drifting away from us and, as she slipped into a coma, the feeling of powerlessness was overwhelming. I had done all I could to help her. I was woken up by the night nurse who told me Collette was about to die. I’m grateful that this allowed me to be with my wonderful wife for one last time.”Read more
The Danny Green Fund was set up when his parents lost their gorgeous son Danny at the age of 11. Before he was diagnosed with a brain tumour, their beautiful, fun loving and energetic son was a typical 10-year-old in every way, very much living for the moment and enjoying life. Tragically, Danny died just nine months after diagnosis, leaving a void which will never be filled.
“Our hearts are broken and can never be repaired. To lose a child is unbearable and should not happen. Danny is the inspiration for our charity: to raise funds to help children with Posterior Fossa Syndrome, which was Danny’s main battle on a daily basis, to fund research to help find a cure, as well as to raise awareness of this devastating disease to hopefully prevent other children from suffering as Danny did...”Read more
Danny HortonMy brother, Danny, was a healthy, sporty, fun-loving young man but in 2010 he passed away, aged 36, with an astrocytoma brain tumour. Just six months later in the same year, my wife, Maddie, lost her father to the same cruel disease.
“Danny passed away nine years after his diagnosis, aged 36
– yet another tragic example of the stark fact that more children and adults under the age of 40 die of a brain tumour than from any other cancer. He walked his brain tumour path on his own, living with a gun to his head.
It makes me think all the more of him.”
Darel BryanDarel was 33 years old and in the prime of his life when he was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in December 2014. Previously extremely healthy and active, it was a complete shock and devastating to his family and his beloved partner of 12 years, Natalie. Darel bravely fought this aggressive disease for 15 months, but sadly lost his battle on 26th February 2016.
“The clinical nurse specialists at the meeting told us not to look his diagnosis up… I was to discover that GBM is a monster; it is relentless and an utterly cruel disease. It not only robs you of who you are, it robbed Darel and me of our future together.”