Here you can read about some people whose lives have been touched by brain tumours – we hope you feel as inspired by them as we do!
While most 25 year-olds are working to build their careers, start families and enjoy their independence, Londoner Claire Bullimore found herself facing the most unexpected and gut-wrenching challenge of her life; a brain tumour. Now Claire has just published her second book documenting her battle – ‘Just A Girl And Her Thoughts: How I Went From Personal Tragedy To Love And Back
My husband Simon had been extremely fit and healthy prior to contracting brain cancer. He died at 50 having faced his dreadful illness head on with immense courage, dignity and positivity. I feel cheated of my future and our daughters will grow up without their Dad.
My name is John Lawson and I’m a Chef. I’ve been a Chef all my life. When other children were reading comic books, I was reading books about Food. I loved Food! I grew up in a working -class family in Essex, enjoying my Mum’s home cooking. The little boy me could never have imagined how much Food would shape my entire life, and eventually, save it.
Alexandra Dixon was diagnosed with a low-grade oligodendroglioma brain tumour after suffering a series of severe epileptic seizures while on holiday in the south of France. Back in the UK, she underwent surgery in June 2007. An MRI scan in 2012 revealed the tumour had returned. She had surgery again followed by radio and chemotherapy.
Diagnosed with a brain tumour at the age of 23, Anna Swabey was initially given just months to live, but under the care of consultant neurosurgeon Kevin O’Neill, at Imperial College, London, Anna had surgery and went on to have a year’s chemotherapy and radiotherapy under oncologist Matt Williams. She shared her experiences from the time of her diagnosis almost up to her death through her blog “Inside My Head”.
Dan was first diagnosed with a grade 2 brain tumour after a grand mal seizure in April 2006 when he was 30. He received a variety of treatments including a craniotomy in 2009 to de-bulk the tumour. At that time he found out that the tumour had been re-classified as a grade 3 or 4 and his doctors recommended he should start to receive regular chemotherapy and radiotherapy at Charing Cross Hospital. Dan was married to Lucy and was a fundraiser for and a trustee of BTRC.
John Fulcher was taken ill on a business trip to Canada. He was diagnosed with an inoperable glioblastoma brain tumour and, together with his wife and accompanied by a nurse, was flown home to the UK. Under the care of Kevin O’Neill, consultant neurosurgeon at Charing Cross, John underwent several surgeries but died ten months later.
Melissa Huggins is an attractive twenty-eight year old primary school teacher with a Grade lll Anaplastic Ependymoma brain tumour and further tumours in her spine. She was diagnosed in 2005 after many years of not knowing what was wrong. In 2009 with the help of her sister, fiancé and friends she raised £250,000 to send her to Boston, US for proton therapy to shrink the tumour. She has since had chemotherapy and radiotherapy and is back teaching at school three days a week.
Mum-of-three Sunita was diagnosed with a type 2 meningioma brain tumour after an eye test at Specsavers. She underwent surgery and treatment but lost her battle less than two years later. Her husband Upin has been left with a void in his life and is comforted by the pride he feels in their talented and beautiful children.