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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

Daniel Franklin

Daniel Franklin, a kitchen assistant from Worthing, West Sussex, was diagnosed with a glioblastoma (GBM) in October 2020 after suffering with balance problems and sickness. The location of the tumour on his brain stem rendered it inoperable but he did have radiotherapy. He went on to have chemotherapy, which proved ineffective, and a second round of radiotherapy, which he complemented with holistic treatments. Sadly, from August 2021, his health began to deteriorate and he died at home three months later at the age of 26.

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James Lamerton

James Lamerton, a teacher from Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in his pineal gland in October 2021, later identified as a grade 4 glioblastoma (GBM). He was being treated for sleep apnoea at the time and was taking medication for migraines thought to be connected to the condition. He suffered complications following surgery and died five weeks after his diagnosis, at the age of 40, leaving behind his wife, Myriam and their two-year-old daughter, Layla. 

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Natalie Harding

Natalie from Coventry was diagnosed with a brain tumour when she was 27, after suffering a seizure out-of-the-blue. A scan at University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire showed a mass on her brain. Over the next four years, Natalie had four operations and endured countless rounds of gruelling chemotherapy treatment. After initially being diagnosed with a glioblastoma (GBM) a clinical trial found Natalie was living with an extremely rare type of brain tumour. Desperate to fight the disease, Natalie paid for innovative treatment, travelling regularly to Germany, however the cancer was too aggressive and she died aged 31 in November 2021.

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All stories

Caroline Foster

Caroline was initially diagnosed as having depression (which was something she had suffered before) and then a breakdown.  Her husband, Andy, first noticed something wrong after Christmas when Caroline just didn’t seem herself, wasn’t focusing on things and wasn’t caring for herself.  

By the time Caroline became incontinent, she was assessed by health workers and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital, where she spent a week before having to leave as the hospital couldn’t provide the level of care she needed - by then she was unable to do anything for herself and even had to be moved with the use of hoists.  There had been no improvement in Caroline’s condition, even with medication and therapy.  
 
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Cat Anderson

In August 2014, a CT scan revealed that Cat, aged 36 and the mother of Robert, 15, had a brain tumour. Following surgery and a biopsy, the devastating news came back that the tumour was in fact cancerous – suggestive of a metastatic spread, but, on a positive note, was a grade 2, slow-growing type of tumour. Just a few short months later, with Cat experiencing headaches again, further surgery revealed the earth-shattering reality that the tumour had progressed from grade 2 to grade 4. Cat’s family and friends all rallied round to help and to fundraise, resulting in the setting up of a fundraising group called Cat in a Hat. Tragically, by the spring of 2017, Cat was no longer responding to any treatments available. She passed away on 14th June that year.

“I started to think Cat would beat the brain tumour or, if not, at least keep it at bay for many years due to her strength and positive attitude. I even found that Cat’s brain tumour wasn’t always the last thing I thought about at night or the first thing I thought about when I awoke.”

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Charlie Carter-Bates

Charlie was six years old when he was finally diagnosed with a GBM4 brain tumour after months of “migraines” accompanied sometimes with projectile vomiting and instances of eye pain.  His parents were told that his chance of survival was 25%, although they later found out that it was a lot less.

“The day of the scan was the day our lives changed forever and was the worst day of our lives so far…   I remember the feeling of utter despair.  I can’t even explain the feeling – it was the most horrendous pain.”
 
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Charlotte Barber

Charlotte Barber defied the odds, living for 29 years after her brain tumour diagnosis when she had been given a 30% chance of surviving past the age of 13. She underwent treatment, which was cutting-edge for its time, at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in the late 80s, paving the way for future patients, and was part of the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study. Despite overcoming many hurdles and learning to live with the debilitating side effects of the disease, Charlotte sadly died on 17th May 2018 at the age of 37. Her mum Julie reflects on Charlotte’s journey and her desire to contribute to research in Charlotte’s memory.

“Her consultant has since told us that Charlotte was a pathfinder and a hero, and those undergoing treatment today owed her a great deal. She was a hero and my heart burst with pride to hear someone else say it. Her childhood was taken away from her by this cruel disease but she never once complained and that smile never faltered.”

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Charlotte Hobbs

We are grateful to Charlotte who worked with us in November 2021 to share her story here. Sadly, she passed away in March 2022. We remember Charlotte as we continue our work to raise awareness of this devastating disease and to fund research to help find a cure. She will be forever in our hearts.

Mother-of-two Charlotte Hobbs, from Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, was first diagnosed with a brain tumour in July 2010 after originally being misdiagnosed with back spasms. Six weeks of radiotherapy followed an awake craniotomy and the results of her biopsy confirmed Charlotte had a grade 3 anaplastic astrocytoma. Charlotte finished treatment in 2011 and was given six-monthly, then yearly scans to monitor any changes. Then, in October 2020 she received the devastating news the brain tumour had returned and she is currently receiving chemotherapy, following her relapse.

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Chloe Clayton

Chloe from Worcestershire died exactly a year after she was diagnosed with a rare grade 4 brain tumour. She began to experience painful headaches and after trips back and forth to the GP, she was finally referred for an MRI scan which revealed devastating news of a mass on her brain. Months of radiotherapy couldn’t compete with the aggressiveness of the tumour and the cancer spread and Chloe died on 15 September 2016 at the age of 19, surrounded by her family. Six years after her death, her brother, Jordan is fundraising to help fund the fight and find a cure for the deadly disease.

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Christine Scott

Christine Scott was diagnosed with a low-grade oligodendroglioma in 2011. Her prognosis was good and, despite epilepsy, she continued with a normal life – even continuing to ride her beloved horses. After five years however, the tumour became aggressive and even though she underwent surgery and treatment, Christine deteriorated. She died in 2018, aged 58, leaving her husband, five children, a granddaughter of less than one year, two horses and a dog.

“Over the course of the year, she went from walking normally to relying on a walking stick to a Zimmer frame to a wheelchair. Determined as ever, Christine had kept trying to ride throughout all of this – even if it was just sitting on the horses while being led around a paddock – but in summer 2017 she had to stop. Although she dealt with her illness fairly well, not being able to ride was extremely difficult for her.”

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Christopher Todd

Husband, 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.”
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Claire Airzee

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.”

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Claire Hollister

My 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.”
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