Brain cancer: Mum calls for greater awareness after son dies

A mum whose son died less than six months after being diagnosed with a brain tumour is calling for greater awareness of the early symptoms.

Adam Stimpson, 20, from Wedmore, in Somerset was studying at the University of Swansea before his death in May.

His mum, Annette Stimpson, said: "Losing a child is the worst thing any mother can imagine."

A 24-hour fundraising challenge for the Brain Tumour Charity is being held on Saturday in Adam's memory.

Mrs Stimpson said: "We need a greater awareness of the early signs and symptoms.

"Adam was first diagnosed in December 2022, but prior to his diagnosis we had about six months where he wasn't feeling well."

The 57-year-old said her son, who was an "intelligent, kind, funny" young man, had noticed some difference in his vision, which had led to a lack of focus, balance issues and occasional sickness.

The family said they booked a private eye examination at Spire Hospital in Bristol as they struggled to get one on the NHS.

At the appointment Adam was given a provisional diagnosed by a consultant of Duane Syndrome, an eye movement disorder, and referred on to specialist NHS care.

At a follow up appointment six months later at Bristol Eye Hospital a CT-scan led to the diagnosis of glioblastoma.

Mrs Stimpson said: "We didn't in our wildest dreams and nightmares think it was a brain tumour.

"In hindsight we can look back and see all of them [the symptoms] but at the time they didn't present as a group of symptoms.

"Adam was so courageous when he was given the news, he was so brave and concerned for those around him.

"He didn't have the attitude of 'why me', but more 'why not me'."

Mrs Stimpson said they "will never know" how much a difference would have been made if Adam was diagnosed earlier.

But she said: "We do know that this is such an aggressive cancer, and is the biggest cancer killing of children and young adults.

"So we must raise awareness, act quick to maximise the chances of improving quality of life and help with research so that a cure is found as quickly as possible, so that other young people and their families don't have the same trauma and loss."

Symptoms of glioblastoma:

  • Headache

  • Seizures

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Changes in personality

  • Weakness in one side of the body

  • Memory loss

  • Speech difficulty

Source: NHS website

More than 50 people are planning on taking turns to push a gym prowler weighing at least 40kg continuously up and down the gym floor at Target Fitness in Weare in memory of Adam.

The event on Saturday is hoping to raise £3,000 for the Brain Tumour Charity with teams of six people taking an hour each to push the weight.

Mrs Stimpson said she had been "blown away" by the support from friends and family and the gym.

Nathan Brown, owner of Target Fitness, said: "This is the first time we've run this type of challenge, so it's very exciting."

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