Dad who thought his headache was a hangover actually had an inoperable brain tumour

Mark Brandish, from Flintshire, was diagnosed with gliobastoma in June 2021. Credit: NCJ Media

A dad who suffered from headaches that would "last for days" ended up being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour.

Mark Brandish, from Caergwrle, brushed off the pain in his head last April as "not being able to handle his gin" anymore. But his condition quickly deteriorated, and in early June 2021, the 52-year-old was diagnosed with glioblastoma.

The illness is the same condition The Wanted singer Tom Parker, who sadly died earlier this year aged 33, was diagnosed with.

Now, Mark's friends have rallied around him to help raise funds for charity. Mark's wife Felicity has also spoken out about how the diagnosis turned their lives upside down.

Mark Brandish and his wife Felicity have been keen runners for a number of years. Credit: NCJ Media

She said: "Literally a month before his diagnosis, Mark was running up a really steep local hill and telling me how he was as fit as a 22-year-old according to his watch. He's always been quite active so it's unbelievable that within the space of a month he went downhill so rapidly.

"He started with a headache on a Saturday in April. We both just laughed it off as him getting on a bit and not being able to handle his gin anymore. He still had the headache which lasted all of the following week."

She explained that Mark had hoped the problem would fix itself in time. It was even suggested he may be suffering with a migraine when he went for his Covid-19 vaccine, until more concerning signs started to appear.

"By now, he'd started to go through personality changes. Just odd things that were out of character for him," said Felicity.

"One night he stayed up until 4am on his PlayStation. That's not normal behaviour as, by 11pm we're usually knackered and off to bed."

The mum-of-three said her husband would sometimes stop talking mid-sentence. At that stage, her concerns reaching breaking point.

Describing it as "the scariest time" of her life, Felicity said: "We called the doctors and were told we'd be given a call back on Tuesday after the May bank holiday weekend. I just remember that seeming like a lifetime away so I called the 111 service on the Sunday who told us to go straight into A&E.

"We were there for seven hours before getting a CT scan that did reveal there was a tumour there. It was his daughter's 13th birthday when we were told there and then at the Walton they believed it would come back as glioblastoma but had to wait on a biopsy."

In the months that followed, Mark underwent a course of radiotherapy and is currently receiving chemotherapy. The family now want to help fund research to find a cure for this disease that Felicity says "takes people from us far too soon".

Mark and Felicity will be joined for their run through the streets of Chester by friends. Credit: NCJ Media

Felicity said the couple had been avid runners for years and were due to take part in the upcoming Chester Half Marathon in May. They had signed up when spots first opened up.

She said: "I kind of put it to the back of my mind thinking it wasn't going to happen. It was just after Christmas he turned to me and said 'I could do it in my wheelchair'. I told him I couldn't push him for the whole 13 miles so we had to get a team together if we were going to make this happen."

Felicity - along with friends Jamie and Kelly Mapp-Jones, Nick Tyson, Sam Tyson, Gareth Jones, Tim Guy, Rhys Parry, Andrew Mackie, Alex Stockton, Donna Welsh and Claire Williams - will carry out his wish. Most of the team have some form of link to Coleg Cambria, where the couple both work in managerial roles.

She added: "Most of us running have done the course before, some haven't. We've had one practice run so fingers crossed we can pull it off on the day.

"It's just an incredible team of people that all really want to do this for Mark. They've been such a support over the past few weeks and I'm actually a little worried what we'll do when its all over on Sunday."