Cosham man with incurable brain tumour hopes to raise money for charity
A PORTSMOUTH man who is living ‘on borrowed time’ with an incurable brain tumour after overcoming testicular cancer is hoping to raise as much money as possible to aid research.
Dan Braiden from Cosham discovered he had glioblastoma multiforme - an aggressive brain tumour - in 2019, just 18 months after his diagnosis of testicular cancer.
The 31-year-old’s first cancer diagnosis was swift after visiting the GP with painful symptoms. And a week later he had surgery to remove the cancer followed by chemotherapy.
However, Dan’s experience with brain cancer was very different and multiple visits to the GP fearing he was suffering with transient ischaemic attacks - which are like mini strokes - was put down as migraines.
It wasn’t until his boss at the Insurance Factory in Portsmouth insisted he went to A&E after Dan suffered excruciating pain in both arms at work that he had a scan.
He said: ‘I’d also been experiencing tingling in my left side and feelings of deja vu and had also noticed I was dragging my foot along the ground after coming out of the hairdresser’s.
‘Having already been to A&E once, I had to lay it on thick. I had a CT scan and the consultant reassured me that I hadn’t had a stroke. But the relief was short-lived.’
A large mass in his temporal lobe turned out to be a grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme brain tumour, for which an average survival time is just 12 to 18 months.
Dan underwent surgery at Southampton General Hospital in December 2019, followed by six weeks of radiotherapy treatment and then chemotherapy through the early months of the coronavirus pandemic.
He added: ‘I was having scans every three months which all showed that the tumour remained stable, until a scan in March this year revealed regrowth – it was a complete shock to me because I hadn’t experienced any symptoms.
‘I was immediately put back on chemotherapy, but, having been given a survival prognosis of 12 to 18 months when I was first diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme, I know I am on borrowed time.’
In May this year, Dan and his dad Shane, from Havant, climbed Mount Snowdon in Wales twice, raising £2,5000 for Brain Tumour Research.
‘It makes me feel very emotional that my parents will have to organise a funeral for their only child – no parent should have to do that,’ Dan said.
‘It’s tough for me on my treatment, but even more devastating that the disease impacts on everyone who loves you.’
Around one per cent of the national spend on cancer research is allocated to brain tumours, yet 88 per cent of those diagnosed with a brain tumour die within five years.
You can make a donation via braintumourresearch.org/donation/donate-now, listing your reason as ‘Dan Braiden.’