Brain tumour: Cancer Research UK on 'different types' in 2017
Warning signs for the brain tumour included Chris struggling to write and suddenly forgetting how to drive, despite working as a contract driver taking vulnerable children to and from school.
The father-of-two and grandfather-of-four, had a craniotomy to debulk the tumour in August, at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.
But despite 98 percent of the tumour being removed, the surgeon said the glioblastoma had “gone off like a paintball gun”, leaving irretrievable cancer cells scattered throughout his brain.
Due to how aggressive the cancer was, chemotherapy and radiotherapy were not considered viable options to extend or improve the quality of Chris’ life.
Sadly, Chris, from Leadgate, County Durham, died on December 1 2022, less than six months after being diagnosed.
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His granddaughter, Amie Beck, 14, from Durham, said: “My grandad was my ‘Giya’. That’s what I called him when I was really little and couldn’t pronounce letters properly, but it stuck.
“Giya was thrilled with it because it meant he didn’t sound too old.
“We were incredibly close, I had countless trips to Scarborough on holiday with him and my grandma and went to their house after school and most weekends, but suddenly, everything changed.
“It all happened so quickly. I don’t want anyone else my age to see someone they love dearly in the state that I saw my Giya.
“Glioblastoma is a horrific illness that decays a person piece by piece and we desperately need more funding to find a cure.”
She added: “The doctors basically told him there was nothing they could do, and he had to go home to die.”
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Chris’ family is now supporting the charity Brain Tumour Research to help reach 100,000 signatures on its petition to increase research funding, in the hope of prompting a parliamentary debate.
The family also raised £640 for the charity with a coffee morning, and Chris’ son Laurence, said: “Dad’s illness was such a shock to us all, especially myself and my brother Jordan.
“We couldn’t believe how quickly he declined. It’s a very cruel, debilitating cancer.
“Amie was so close to her grandad and is really passionate about helping this cause.
“She spoke at dad’s funeral and it was incredibly heartfelt. She speaks as somebody much older than her years.”
Brain Tumour Research is calling on the government to ring-fence £110 million of current and new funding to kick-start an increase in the national investment in brain tumour research to £35 million a year by 2028.
Matt Price, community development manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: “We are sorry to hear about Chris but are grateful to his family for supporting our petition, and for Amie’s heartfelt tribute to her ‘Giya’, to help raise awareness.
“For too long governments have put brain tumours on the ‘too difficult to think about’ pile. Five years after the Government announced £40 million for brain cancer research, just £15 million has been spent. Patients and families continue to be let down by a funding system that is built in silos and not fit for purpose.
“If everyone can spare just a few minutes to sign and share, we will soon hit the 100,000 signatures we need and help find a cure, bringing hope to families whose loved ones have been affected by brain tumours.”
To sign and share the petition before it closes at the end of October 2023, go to www.braintumourresearch.org/petition
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