‘My Dad was so excited when I announced my husband and I were going to have a baby. I couldn’t imagine a world where my Dad would not get to see his grandchild grow up.’
It was during the lead up to Christmas that Dad’s behaviour started to change. As with every Christmas, it was such a busy time that his ill health didn’t strike us as something to worry a great deal about.
At first, he put it down to a virus he was having difficulty shaking, and we had no reason not to believe the same. However, his health continued to rapidly decline, and we decided we had to act. Early on Boxing Day we took him straight to A&E.
He was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme brain tumour and given just a few months to live. I was 34 weeks pregnant with my first child.
My Dad was so excited when I announced my husband and I were going to have a baby. I couldn’t imagine a world where my Dad would not get to see his grandchild grow up.
The intensity of the shock was like nothing I’ve ever felt before. Watching his rapid, daily decline was utterly terrifying. It felt like each day another part of him disappeared. With each new terrible symptom, we lost him a little more.
Alongside undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy, Dad also was involved in a private clinical drugs trial. Having even a glimpse of hope at such a dark and difficult time meant a great deal to me, and I wish he had been able to access new and cutting-edge treatments sooner.
Unfortunately, the cancer was too aggressive for treatment to be able to save my Dad. He passed away last May, aged 60. Now he has gone, the photos I have of us together are more precious than ever – I will always remember how happy he was on my wedding day, and this photo of us is how I like to remember him.
ACT for Cancer are pioneering the transformative change that is needed to bring personalised medicine to all, not just to those with the connections or money to access it. Until recently, just 1% of the national spend on cancer research went to brain cancer.
This lack of understanding is tearing people away from their loved ones. Research into this devastating disease could be life-changing for thousands of people like my Dad. Access to treatments needs to be accessible across the NHS, regardless of bank accounts or postcodes.
By supporting ACT for Cancer, you can help to ensure that people around the UK get the treatment I wish my Dad was able to receive. One day there will be a cure for cancers that have always been untreatable. Let us all work together to see that day sooner.