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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

Thomas MacIntyre-Valentine

Talented artist and bass player, Thomas MacIntyre-Valentine, from West Yorkshire, was just 30 years old when he lost his life to a brainstem glioma. Thomas, who was married to Sheira, lived with his brain tumour for eight years but when it started to spread in February 2020, he declined quickly. As she continues to come to terms with the loss of her loved one, Sheira is hoping to make a difference and remember him by setting up a Fundraising Group in his name. 

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Steve Dixon

Steve Dixon, from Bradford in West Yorkshire, was a fit and healthy 57-year-old, who enjoyed playing golf and football, when, in March 2019, his life was turned upside down by a brain tumour diagnosis. Steve’s tumour was an aggressive glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). The BT Openreach engineer and grandfather-of-three had radiotherapy, chemotherapy and two brain surgeries but eventually, his treatment options ran out. He died on 9 January 2021, aged 59, leaving his family devastated. 

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Rachael Harris

Rachael Harris, from York, was just 30 when, in July 2017, she was diagnosed with an astrocytoma brain tumour. Rachael underwent brain surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy but in January 2021, she received the devastating news that her tumour was growing aggressively. Three months later, Rachael died in A&E, following several heart failures. The 34-year-old RSPCA animal carer left behind her heart-broken parents Sally and Alan, her older brother Chris and her partner, Steve.  

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All stories

Collette Drifte

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.

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Danny Green

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...”

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Danny Griffiths

Danny Griffiths, from Bingham in Nottinghamshire, was 57 when he died from a brain tumour he bravely fought for two-and-a-half years. Danny was happily married to Andrea and a proud father to Olivia, 22. Danny’s tumour was inoperable but he underwent palliative chemotherapy to try to prolong his life. He spent his final weeks being cared for at home by Andrea and Olivia and tragically died in December 2020, having contracted COVID-19 just days before. Olivia, who has just qualified as a nurse, is now keen to raise awareness of the disease, which killed her dad and tore her family apart. 

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Danny Horton

My 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.”

 
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Darel Bryan

Darel 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.”
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Daryl Owens

Daryl Owens was diagnosed with a grade 3 astrocytoma when he was 34 years old. He always stayed positive, approaching everything with a sense of humour, and his condition at one point stabilised. After two years however, Daryl began to deteriorate and in October 2018, three years since his diagnosis, he passed away with his wife Jude and his parents by his side.

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Dave Holden

We are grateful to Dave who worked with us in September 2015 to share his story here. Sadly, he passed away in February 2019. We remember Dave 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.

Father-of-three Dave Holden is living with a grade 3 astrocytoma brain tumour. It was diagnosed in 2010 after he began to experience difficulty driving. The tumour responded well to 18 months of chemotherapy and radiation but a scan in March 2015 revealed it had returned. Dave continues to work full-time and remains positive about the future.

“I can’t be bothered with the doom and gloom. I have always been quite a positive person and now it is more important than ever. I do have days where I can feel down, but my wife gives me a kick to help me get over it. We have the kids to think about and I need to be here and on good form for as long as I can in order to look after my family.”

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Dave O'Donoghue

Husband, father, and grandfather, Dave O'Donoghue, was 59 when he was diagnosed with a grade four glioblastoma multiforme brain tumour, after suffering from severe headaches. Though he underwent surgery and radiotherapy, Dave sadly passed away less than four months after diagnosis, missing his milestone 60th birthday by a matter of weeks. This year marks 10 years since his passing.

“After what seemed like hours waiting in silence for the consultant to arrive, he came in and did not delay giving the diagnosis. Dad had a grade four glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a very aggressive tumour and it was going to end his life within the next three months. We all sat there in shock at the news we had just heard, trying to piece it all together. My mum fled the room in tears while I just sat there in silence with my dad. His only question was if he would make his 60th birthday on the 13th July. The consultant paused, shook his head and said ‘I’m so sorry’.”

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David Flockhart

Professor of Medicine, Genetics and Pharmacology and Director of the Institute of Personalised Medicine at Indiana University in the USA, David Flockhart devoted his career to pioneering breakthroughs against cancer. 

Having lost his mother and cousin to glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) tumours, it was unfortunate when David found himself battling a GBM, a cancer where he felt that conventional treatment had not changed in 50 years.  Knowing that his prognosis was poor, David wanted to communicate his medical knowledge widely, and through his broadcasting work, let others understand what it was like to live with the devastating effects of a brain tumour before he died.

“My brother was convinced that there had to be a genetic link, or at least a predisposition, to brain tumours in our family.  Three of them, all in my mother’s blood line, diagnosed with GBM.”
 
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David Grant

We are grateful to David who worked with us in October 2013 to share his story here. Sadly, he passed away. We remember David 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.

David Grant was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme grade IV brain tumour in August 2005. He was working as a Senior Project Manager for the Royal Bank of Scotland and married with a two-year-old daughter at the time. David was told he could have just 12 months to live. Fast forward to today: David hasn’t received cancer medication since 2006 and is now watching his daughter growing up.
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