A mum from Leighton Buzzard who was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour has helped to launch a national fundraising campaign to find a cure for the disease.
Catrin Ireland, 42, of Tern Drive, is working with Brain Tumour Research to support this year’s Wear A Hat Day which takes place on Thursday, March 29.
She met brain tumour survivor and model Caprice Bourret, at the charity’s HQ in Milton Keynes to launch the campaign on Saturday.
She took her husband, Lindsay, son Dylan, 13, father Keith Evans, who himself was diagnosed with a brain tumour two years ago, and mum Margaret, to the launch.
Catrin, who is also mum to 17-year-old Daisy, was 35 when she was diagnosed with a brain tumour the size of a tangerine, in 2011, on her 13th wedding anniversary.
She said: “I underwent surgery, but have been left with vision and balance issues. I feel very dizzy walking any distance and suffer with extreme fatigue which means I often need to sleep during the day.
“Having had to give up my driving licence, I now have to rely on a mobility scooter to get around, which isn’t what I ever imagined to be doing in my early forties.
“Because of my diagnosis as well as my dad’s and the fact that Mum’s father died of a brain tumour when she was 11, we are committed to helping fund vital research taking place at a network of Brain Tumour Research Centres of Excellence.”
Caprice, who was launching Wear A Hat Day, underwent surgery to remove a low-grade brain tumour which was diagnosed a year ago and continues to be monitored by her medical team.
She said: “I have been so touched by Catrin’s story and the incredible work she is doing fundraising for Brain Tumour Research.
“It is a sad fact that brain tumours affect so many people and that this devastating disease is indiscriminate and can affect anyone at any age – I never even used to get headaches before I was diagnosed.
“I am proud to be working with Catrin and her family and so many others to support Wear A Hat Day. I want everyone to get involved! It’s such a fun event and anyone can take part.
“Let’s all put our hats on and do something positive for Catrin and her dad, Keith, and support the fantastic research going on right now.
“I am determined to try to make a difference for the 16,000 people diagnosed with a brain tumour each year.”
Catrin is urging the community to put their hats on for the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under the age of 40.
She said: “We are dedicated to continuing to raise awareness of brain tumours and are really proud of what we have achieved so far.
“We have had such wonderful support from people in and around Leighton Buzzard and Tring and I hope they will once again join us by getting involved in Wear A Hat Day.”