Harriet Holmes, Author at Alderson & Horan
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  1. Brain Tumour Awareness month with Root Fifty-Two

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    As part of Brain Tumour Awareness month, we reached out to our good friend Kimberley from Root Fifty-Two, who was kind enough to share her story with us. We’ve been closely partnered with Root Fifty-Two for an extended period of time and were deeply saddened to hear she had lost her father to a brain tumour in 2020.

     

    We hope that this touching story will help to raise public awareness of the signs and symptoms of brain tumours – as well as inspire others to support the work of The Brain Tumour Charity in any way they can…

     

    Brain Tumour Awareness month with Root Fifty-Two – Read Kimberley’s story.

     

    After losing my dad to a brain tumour, everything changed…

    “My dad’s illness began back in 2019, following two months of headaches, occasional twinges down his arm, and eventually, some minor seizures. Whilst we knew something was wrong – I don’t think our family could ever have been prepared for the devastating journey that we had to come.

    Initially, the doctors had misdiagnosed him with a different illness. However, we were persistent in seeking answers, and eventually, the diagnosis of a brain tumour was made. At this point – my life as I knew it had shattered. And for the next 18 months, my life revolved around my dad. 

    When I wasn’t by his side, I found myself frantically scouring internet forums for stories from others who had suffered from this cruel disease, desperate to find accounts that had a happy ending. These were, sadly, few and far between. In hindsight, as tragic as many of these stories were – I do feel that, in some way, they helped prepare me for some of the challenges that lay ahead.

     

    Caring for my dad until the very end…

    As my dad’s condition deteriorated, my mum, sisters and I pulled together and cared for him from home. I would go to work in the morning, rush home to spend my lunch break with him, and then visit him again during the evenings. However, as things got worse, we were lucky enough to receive a great deal of support from Pendleside Hospice, Macmillan Cancer Support and a local care company. 

    Up until the very end, my father was a constant source of inspiration to me, just as he had been before his illness. Not once did we see him complain or express any bitterness about the cruel journey he was on, but instead, he remained resilient and unwavering right up to the end.

    Eighteen months after my dad’s diagnosis, and after numerous unsuccessful and exhausting attempts at Radiotherapy, my dad’s treatment was stopped – and he passed away in the comfort of our family home. 

     

    Life after losing him…

    It’s now been over two years since my lovely dad passed away, and I still feel the void that he left behind every day. My dad, Ian, was not just a parent but my hero, mentor and an inspiration to me and the rest of our family. 

    In particular, my father was instrumental in helping me to establish my Creative & Marketing agency, Root Fifty-Two, providing invaluable guidance and support when getting the business off the ground. After running his own successful print company, LBH Litho, for over twenty-five years, there weren’t many people more qualified to help me – and I’m forever grateful for his unwavering support. I only wish he were still around to see how much Root Fifty-Two has grown and what we have achieved.

    Whilst I have always valued my family, my dad’s death has served as a poignant reminder that every moment counts. Life can be very cruel – and you just never know what’s around the corner, so it’s important to make the most of what we have.

    My dad had worked hard his entire life, saving for a retirement that he, painfully, never got a chance to see. All of the plans he had made with my Mum, to travel the world, go on cruises, and enjoy quality time together, were lost to his illness – and that breaks my heart every day. 

    Since losing my Dad, I’ve been determined to ensure I live my life in a meaningful way. Spending quality time with my loved ones, creating memories, finding joy in the small things, and building a business and a legacy that I’m proud of. 

     

    Brain Tumour Awareness month with Root Fifty-Two

     

    Supporting The Brain Tumour Charity – Brain Tumour Awareness month with Root Fifty-Two

    Another new and important aspect of my life since losing my dad is supporting The Brain Tumour Charity in any way I can. Over the last two years, Root Fifty-Two have raised an incredible £8,500 for the charity through a combination of fundraising events and activities, as well as our Power of Print initiative. As part of this initiative, we donate 7.5% of our earnings from print projects to the charity, allowing us to contribute to a great cause in a meaningful way.

    In addition to supporting The Brain Tumour Charity, I have taken on a more active role as an ambassador for the organisation. One of the ways I contribute is by providing assistance with the UX design and user experience of their BRIAN app. This app has been designed to help individuals cope with the diagnosis of a brain tumour, and I am proud to have played a part in its development. 

    The pain of losing my dad to a brain tumour has never gone away. It is something that I carry with me every day, and it has been one of the most challenging experiences of my life. However, through my involvement with The Brain Tumour Charity and Root Fifty-Two’s fundraising efforts, I have been able to turn my grief into something positive.

    By raising awareness and funds for brain tumour research, I am helping to honour the memory of my dad in a lasting way. I know that he would be proud of the work that I am doing, and I hope that it will make a real difference in the fight against this devastating disease.

     

    How the Brain Tumour Charity has helped Kimberley

    Working with The Brain Tumour Charity has also allowed me to connect with others who have been affected by brain tumours. It is a community that nobody wants to be a part of, but it is a community that is full of love and support. Through my involvement, I have met some incredible people who inspire me every day with their strength and resilience.

    It is this sense of community and shared purpose that has helped me to find some light in the darkness. Yes, the pain of losing my dad will always be with me, but I am determined to use that pain to make a positive impact in the world. I believe that he would want nothing less, and I am honoured to be able to carry on his legacy in this way.”

     

    Brain Tumour Awareness month with Root Fifty-Two – What are the statistics around brain tumours?

    • Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40
    • 33 people a day are diagnosed with a primary brain tumour in the UK 
    • Just 12% of adults live for five years after diagnosis
    • Only 3% of the cancer research funds in the UK are spent on brain tumours

     

    What symptoms should you look out for?

    • Headaches
    • Changes in vision
    • Seizures
    • Nausea and dizziness
    • Tiredness and fatigue
    • Loss of taste and smell
    • Cognitive changes

     

    For more information on how to support the fundraising efforts of The Brain Tumour Charity or to learn more about living with a diagnosis, please visit their website here. Alternatively, find more information on Kimberley’s ‘Power of Print’ initiative here.