Fife Council backs brain tumour campaign

It is the first council in the UK to officially support the campaign

The motion noted that there was concern over the lack of awareness of brain tumours in Fife, despite it being the biggest killer of children and adults under the age of 40.

Councillor Smart said: “This is an emotional subject for me. Three and a half months ago I lost my big brother to a brain tumour, which absolutely devastated our family and everyone who knew him. For weeks before he had been feeling tired and ill. He put this down to working too much and continued to go on about his daily life.

“On a Sunday evening his wife became concerned that his face had fell to one side and was immediately rushed to Victoria Hospital. It wasn’t until the following morning that the horrific news of Richard’s illness came to light. On Monday morning, Richard was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

“A few weeks after the final surgery, Richard got the prognosis of his tumour. It was a very rare form and he was told he would have a minimum of 18 months to two years to live. The radiotherapy and chemotherapy he underwent did not save his life, but it did prolong it.

“Richard has a wife and two daughters. Every day he fought his illness not for himself, but for them. He’s an inspiration for us all. On November 16, 2018, we lost Richard to this horrible disease.

“Richard’s story is just one. Brain tumours are the biggest killer cancer under 40. The symptoms are going undiagnosed. It kills one child every three days. While children under 12 are diagnosed in seven weeks, teens take 10 weeks.

“Symptoms are difficult to differentiate from benign causes and sometimes get put down to just being a teenager, or exam stress. It’s important that parents and teenagers are vigilant. A delay can mean the difference between life and death.”

Head Smart was launched in 2011, to raise awareness of the symptoms of brain tumours. Symptoms include Persistent/ recurrent headaches, Balance, co-ordination or walking problems, and blurred or double vision.

Councillor Carol Lindsay seconded the motion, saying: “I support this in memory of my partner’s father. Brain tumours in children kill the same number as meningitis, but parents are much less aware of the symptoms.

“We need to arm ourselves with getting to know the signs and symptoms. Diagnosing a child early can save lives.”


Reporting by Emma O'Neill

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