Washington woman opens up about 'heartbreaking' effects of brain tumours after losing mum to the killer condition

The family of a mum who lost her battle with a brain tumour have opened up about her brave fight with the illness.

Wednesday, 9th October 2019, 12:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th October 2019, 8:18 pm
South Shields mum Jean Wilson sadly lost her battle with an aggressive brain tumour in 2018

Jean Wilson died in November 2018 just months after being diagnosed with a grade 4 glioblastoma – the most aggressive form of brain tumour in adults.

Aged just 66, Jean had shown no obvious signs of having the tumour, until she complained of a bad head and went to have a nap.

But when her children went to wake her they found that her face had ‘crumpled’ on one side and phoned an ambulance.

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That was in February 2018 and a series of tests followed which led to Jean being diagnosed with the brain tumour in May.

Jean, from South Shields, who is mum to Debbie Redpath and Gary Wilson, underwent six weeks of radiotheraphy in a bid to stunt the growth or shrink the tumour, but the treatment was unsuccessful.

Debbie, from Washington, said: “This beast called a glioblastoma took away mum’s ability to think straight, follow her favourite TV programmes, read, write, show affection or love.

“We just lost mum bit by bit, the brain tumour takes away the person and it’s heartbreaking.”

Jean's daughter, Debbie Redpath, with sons Kai, Kawai and Bane.

Throughout her fight, Jean and her family were supported by The Brain Tumour Charity and Macmillan.

The Brain Tumour Charity funds pioneering research to increase survival and improve treatment options, as well as raising awareness of the symptoms and effects of brain tumours to bring about earlier diagnosis.

Debbie continued: “The Brain Tumour Charity supported us all to cope with it and forewarned us when things would happen so it wasn’t such a shock.

“They prepared us for the worst and we found them immensely helpful as we didn’t feel alone.”

The late Jean Wilson with Debbie’s youngest son Bane, and Debbie’s brother Gary.

And now Debbie and the family have decided to take part in the South Tyneside Twilight Walk in aid of The Brain Tumour Charity.

The Twilight Walk is one of the charity’s annual events that aims to bring together families in the UK affected by a brain tumour diagnosis.

The South Tyneside event will take place on Sunday, October 20, from the Little Haven Hotel in South Shields to Souter Lighthouse.

Among those taking part will be Debbie’s sons Kai, 17, Kawai, nine, and Bane, two.

Debbie said: “I don’t think any family should have to go through what we did.

“Investment in brain tumour research is low compared to other cancers.

“I want to do my bit to help fund cures and treatments.”

“For me, The Twilight Walk is about doing all I can to raise funds for a brilliant charity who are working hard to find a cure for this terrible condition.

“We’re committed to having the biggest possible impact, for everyone affected by a brain tumour in the UK, so in the future, families won’t have to suffer like we did.”

Registration begins at 2pm and the event hopes to raise as much as possible for the charity.