Brain tumour victim’s tree of hope

Nicole delivers her speech during the ceremony. Behind her stand fiance Phil Phillips and Liz Fussey of Brain Tumour Research. To the right stand Rev Philip Derbyshire with Sir Nicholas and Lady Bonsor.
Nicole delivers her speech during the ceremony. Behind her stand fiance Phil Phillips and Liz Fussey of Brain Tumour Research. To the right stand Rev Philip Derbyshire with Sir Nicholas and Lady Bonsor.
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A moving ceremony was held in Soulbury last week as a courageous mum with a brain tumour planted a tree dedicated to raising awareness.

Nicole Taylor (formerly Witts) was diagnosed with a brain tumour for the second time earlier this year, soon after moving into a new home with fiance Phil Phillips.

Nicole with the red acer planted

Nicole with the red acer planted

In spite of the devastating news, the mum-of-two has vowed to carry on campaigning to raise money for research and awareness of brain tumours – which are among the deadliest cancers for under 40s.

Dozens of people gathered around the Millennium Green on the morning of Saturday, November 1, to see the red acer planted.

In a heartfelt speech at the ceremony, Nicole, 42, said: “When I was originally diagnosed with a brain tumour the size of an orange, I was given two choices – undergo surgery to have it removed with no certainty of the outcome, or die by August 2008.

“With two small children, I had no real choice.”

The tree was blessed by Rev Philip Derbyshire and planted by Sir Nicholas and Lady Bonsor of Soulbury, who also donated £100 to Nicole’s charity.

The plaque on the tree carries Nicole’s own motto of “Live Life” and is pledged in honour of Brain Tumour Research.

Nicole said: “Planting a tree that will grow and continue to ‘Live Life’ just as I have dedicated myself to do, has allowed me to tick off the 201st item on my bucket list.”

She added: “It is lovely that so many people from the local community have come along today.”

A spokesman for Brain Tumour Research said: “Nicole is an inspiration.

“We are delighted that she has chosen to plant a tree for Brain Tumour Research in this beautiful setting in Soulbury, and hope that long before the tree matures, survival rates for brain tumours will at the very least radically have improved to that of other cancers.”