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Brain Tumours: the emotional and financial cost of diagnosis

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16,000 people are diagnosed with a brain tumour each year, and Meridian have been talking to two families who have been personally hit by the effect of brain tumours.

A former headteacher from Kent is calling for brain tumour patients and their families to be given more support after her husband died from the condition. Mark George was just 57 when he was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour. His wife Angela had to retire early and his daughter took six months off work to help care for him.

A woman from Winchester has travelled to Parliament to get more help for all those affected and their families. Jenny Farthing lost her husband Guy to the disease last year, despite him undergoing years of chemo and radiotherapy.

Watch these hard-hitting reports by Abigail Bracken and Mary Stanley below:

MARK GEORGE'S STORY

Mark George was a keen cyclist and a family man but after brain surgery, he had to rely on that family for help. His wife Angela says there was so little support, she had no choice but to give up her job as a headteacher.

Mark George was a keen cyclist and a family man

Angela, George's Wife:

Although he recovered for a while after his first operation, another tumour grew. 18 months after his first diagnosis, he died. He was 59.

The All-Party parliamentary group on Brain Tumours has just published a report highlighting the financial burdens faced by brain tumour patients - and their families.

Like that experienced by Mark George's daughter who took six months off work to help her family.

Beth, George's daughter:

The cause of most brain tumours is not known, and yet they are the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40.

Today's report says there have been 'no significant scientific breakthroughs' in brain tumour research for decades.

Hugh Adams, Brain Tumour Research:

So this family hopes today's report will lead to more help for families struggling with brain tumours.

This family hopes today's report will lead to more help for families struggling with brain tumours

GUY FARTHING'S STORY

Celebrating their daughter's wedding in 2014 - Jenny Farthing says this is one of the last times she remembers her husband Guy looking well and happy. He'd been diagnosed with a brain tumour at the age of 60 - and died nine years later.

Celebrating their daughter's wedding in 2014 - Jenny Farthing says this is one of the last times she remembers her husband Guy looking well and happy

Guy was a successful garden designer, a talented artist who loved croquet and walking. Jenny says nothing prepared her for dealing with her husband's illness, watching him lose mobility, speech and mental ability, or for the impact on their lives, moving house to be closer to a hospital and the financial cost of carers and equipment.

That's why she's supporting a campaign for raise awareness of the condition.

Now the problems have been highlighted in a report by an all party committee of MPs - entitled a cost too much to bear.

Brain Tumour Report: It calls for additional benefits to reduce the financial burden for patients and their families:

  • Families are said to lose up to £14,000 each year
  • It wants more funding for research into the disease
  • Improvements in early diagnosis
Jenny abseiled down Portsmouth's Spinaker Tower to raise money for research

Earlier this year Jenny abseiled down Portsmouth's Spinaker Tower to raise money for research. She says she'll continue to campaign for more awareness to improve the lives of patients and families in the future.