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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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All stories

Tom Attwater

Tom stood by his girlfriend Joely when her daughter Kelli was diagnosed with cancer. He set about raising money for life-saving treatment abroad should Kelli need it but within months Tom was diagnosed with a brain tumour. He passed away in September 2015 at his home in the village where he grew up, less than two years after his marriage to Joely and four months after their longed-for son Fletcher was born.

“The most poignant moment on our wedding day was when Tom walked Kelli down the aisle. It was his idea: he wasn’t going to be around to give her away at her own wedding but this was something he could do now. My only regret is that, as the bride, I wasn’t there to see it! We do have some wonderful photos and videos though. We changed Kelli’s surname on that day as we wanted to be together as a proper family although we had no idea just how short-lived that would be.”
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Tom Lubbock

Writer and illustrator Tom Lubbock was chief art critic of the Independent until his death in 2011. Married to artist Marion Coutts and with a son Eugene, Tom lost his life to an aggressive brain tumour aged 53, just over two years after diagnosis. Tom’s book Until Further Notice I am Alive, (Granta, 2012) is a lucid and compelling description of that experience from the inside. After his death Marion went on to publish her acclaimed memoir, The Iceberg. (Atlantic Books, 2014). Read more

Tom Pooley

Tom Pooley was a devoted dad, hardworking businessman and well-regarded in the local community. After a series of seizures and inconclusive MRI scans, Tom was finally diagnosed with a brain tumour in November 2016. Throughout his illness, Tom continued to work for his business and retained his strength of character, but he sadly died just seven months after his diagnosis in July 2017.   

“In November 2017, I was blessed to give birth to a beautiful baby girl, Ella, who I had been carrying throughout the latter stages of Dad’s illness. Dad was convinced I would have a girl and it’s fitting she looks just like him. Though I am saddened she will never get to meet her grandad, I hope she lives to see the day that there is a cure for brain tumours.”
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Tony Barrow

Tony Barrow made a lasting impact on so many people and his loved ones will always remember him for his happy, larger-than-life personality and infectious energy. Tony loved life and the inspirational dad-of-two wasn’t going to let anything, not even a glioblastoma multiforme, get in his way. From his diagnosis in May 2015, Tony made sure he created precious memories with his family which would last long after his death in March 2017.  Read more

Trudy Shingler

Trudy was a 35 year old forensic psychologist, a wife and mother of three year old Phoenix. On 22nd October 2010, Trudy was officially diagnosed as having a Glioma tumour (specifically, an Anaplastic PXA grade IV).  Less than four months later she passed away. Read more

Valerie Emms

Valerie was a healthy, fit mother of four grown-up children, who enjoyed golf, gardening and walking her dog when she suddenly started to experience a range of symptoms.  Various doctors diagnosed stress and a trapped nerve, but two months later it was discovered that she had a grade IV glioblastoma multiforme.  Her daughter, Helen, was able to accept and come to terms with the fact that her mother was dying and help Valerie on her journey of letting go. 

“My passion for personal development helped me to handle Mum’s diagnosis and accept that her life was going to come to an end very soon.  It also gave me the ability to support someone who was dying without always questioning whether I had done enough, or feeling guilty.  I totally believe that guilt doesn’t change anything – there is no benefit in feeling guilty about what we should or shouldn’t have done, both pre and post diagnosis.  It is guilt, along with other negative energies, such as anger and resentment, which make us feel out of control.” 

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Vince Treherne-Jones

Lorry driver and father of two, Vince Treherne-Jones was initially diagnosed with a low-grade brain tumour just weeks after meeting new partner Gwyneth. Vince underwent surgery and treatment but his tumour continued to grow, eventually metastasising to other areas. The pair were married during his treatment and realised their dream of moving to Devon before Vince passed away in January 2015 at the age of 49.

“Throughout it all Vince remained brave and positive even when he was bent over in pain, unable to stand or walk. He died just three years and four months after we met. When he was first diagnosed people said I didn’t really know him and should walk away but I felt that he came into my life for a reason. By the time we married, he was disfigured by the tumour as it grew in his brain and affected his nerves. I didn’t care, all that mattered to me was that he was still alive.”
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Winston Harris

In February 2015, Winston Harris was healthy, happy and planning retirement with his wife. Just five weeks later, he passed away from an aggressive brain tumour. Leaving behind a wife, son and daughter in-law and two grandchildren, life had completely changed for the Harris family suddenly and without warning.

“No one could have prepared us for what we were told next. Following an MRI scan, mum called me to say dad had been diagnosed with a grade 4 glioblastoma, an aggressive type of brain tumour. It was shocking to see Dad deteriorate so quickly. It got to the stage where only palliative care was available, which was the hardest part for me.”

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Wynn Humphreys

Proud Welshman, avid football and motorcycle fan, husband and father-of-two Wynn Humphreys was 72 when he died in March 2017. He had been diagnosed with an aggressive Gliobmastoma Multiforme (GBM) brain tumour and, in line with his wishes, his wife and daughters didn’t discuss his prognosis with him, in order for him to enjoy the precious little time he had left.

“In line with his wishes, we never talked to dad about the fact he was dying. It was such a difficult time as we found ourselves not being able to talk about his prognosis in order to shield him from the truth but we went through with it because it was what he wanted. Not being able to talk openly to his friends about dad’s illness was one of the hardest things but we did it out of love for my dad and to respect his wishes.”

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Yashpal Gill

Yashpal Gill died of a brain tumour in 2002 after a very short illness - he was just 50.  He was a self-employed accountant and a very active man.  His death left his wife, Bali, and two sons devastated.  Read more

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