A DAD who blamed his headaches on not being able to handle his gin then learned the reality was far worse.
Mark Brandish, from Caergwrie, Flintshire, in north-east Wales, thought the pain he was suffering from last April was nothing more than not being able to drink his drink anymore.
But his condition deteriorated and in early June 2021 the 52-year-old was diagnosed with glioblastoma – an aggressive form of cancer.
The Wanted singer Tom Parker, who died earlier this year at the age of 33, was suffering from the same illness.
Mark’s friends and family have gathered to raise funds for charity.
His wife Felicity has also spoken out about how her life has been turned upside down.
Felicity told the Daily Post: “Literally a month before his diagnosis, Mark ran up a really steep hill nearby and told me his watch said he was as fit as a 22-year-old.
“He’s always been very active so it’s incredible that he went downhill so quickly in a month.
“He started with a headache on a Saturday in April. We both just laughed about it when he got on a bit and couldn’t handle his gin anymore. He still had the headache, which lasted throughout the following week.”
Mark had hoped the problem would resolve itself over time and when he decided to get his Covid-19 vaccine it was suggested he might have migraines.
However, more worrying signs emerged.
Felicity said he started going through “personality changes” and doing things that were “out of character.”
The mother-of-three added: “One night he stayed up until 4am on his PlayStation. This is not normal behavior as we usually finish by 11pm and go to bed.”
She reached a breaking point with her concerns when her husband sometimes stopped speaking in mid-sentence.
Felicity said: “We called the doctors and were told we would get a call back on the Tuesday after the May Bank Holiday weekend. I just remember it felt like forever so on Sunday I called 911 who told us to go straight to the emergency room.
“We were there for seven hours before we got a CT scan that showed there was a tumor there. It was his daughter’s 13th birthday when we were told there, and then at the Walton, that they thought it would come back as glioblastoma but had to wait for a biopsy.”
Felicity described it as “the scariest time” of her life.
In the months that followed, Mark underwent radiation therapy and is currently receiving chemotherapy.
Now the family is raising funds to help research find a cure for the disease.
The pair have been keen runners for years and were due to compete in the upcoming Chester Half Marathon later this month.
What is glioblastoma?
Glioblastoma is the most common high-grade primary brain tumor in adults.
The cancer starts in the brain and almost never spreads to other parts of the body. However, its complexity makes it difficult to treat.
It is also resistant to treatment because the cells within the tumor are not all of the same type.
There are no known causes of glioblastoma, like most brain tumors, so there is no definite way to prevent the disease.
What are the symptoms of glioblastoma?
The symptoms can be quite unspecific at first. The brain controls so many different functions that the symptoms someone experiences depend in part on where the tumor is located.
People can mistake their symptoms for various other issues like stress or even a hangover.
Symptoms can get worse very quickly, sometimes progressing to unconsciousness.
Brain Tumor Research says tumors increase pressure in the skull and cause headaches.
Other symptoms to look out for are:
- loss of appetite
- nausea and vomiting
- loss of balance
- mood swings
- problems speaking
- Problems with memory or concentration
- visual disturbance
Due to Mark’s condition, the pair initially put the event on the back burner, but just after Christmas, he suggested she could push him over the 13-mile distance.
While she said she couldn’t make it, they decided to put together a team to make it happen.
Felicity will now grant his wish along with her 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.
The team has all ties to Coleg Cambria where both work in senior positions.
Felicity added that while most of the team had run the course before, some hadn’t and they’d managed to get a workout in, so they were crossing their fingers they’d make it when the time came.
She described the participants as an “incredible team” who had been a great support over the past few weeks.
So far they have raised over £4,200 for The Brain Tumor Charity.
Anyone who would like to support can donate here on their JustGiving page.
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https://www.thesun.ie/health/8763140/dad-headaches-diagnosed-brain-tumour-cancer-wales/ My husband thought he was hungover and we joked he couldn’t handle his gin