THE friends and family of a young man who died of a brain tumour held a fundraiser in his memory and visited a charity that researches the disease.
Nathan Ward, nicknamed Spuddy, from Locks Heath, died on January 16, 2012, aged 22.
He had undergone surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy after being diagnosed with three brain tumours on his 21st birthday.
At the event, a group of his friends, many of whom went to Fareham College with him, placed a tile on the Wall of Hope at the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence at the University of Portsmouth.
Each tile represents the £2,740 it costs to fund a day of brain tumour research.
Nathan’s mum Dawn Farnham, 48, of Cornflower Close, Locks Heath, was there with husband Colin, 49, and Nathan’s friends Steve Rawson, 24, Lozz Hart, 23, and Chris Fenwick, 23, all from Locks Heath, and Jess McNally, 24, from Southampton.
Mrs Farnham has tirelessly fundraised for the charity since losing her son.
She said: ‘I find it hard knowing how little research is done into brain tumours compared to other cancers – this doesn’t seem right when brain tumours seem to affect so many young people.
‘Fundraising for Brain Tumour Research is a way of helping me cope with the loss of my only child.
‘I wanted his friends, who stood by him and continue to support me, to see the vital work which is taking place here.’
The group was able to see the work at the centre, which houses the UK’s largest laboratory-based research team working to improve survival rates and quality of life for patients.
The research at the centre, plus three others in the Brain Tumour Research network, costs £1m a year to run. The funds pay for the researcher team, support staff and equipment.
Sue Farrington Smith, chief executive for Brain Tumour Research, said: ‘Dawn is driven by the wish that others will not have to suffer the tragedy of losing a loved one to this dreadful disease and we are extremely grateful to her for her dedicated commitment.’
For more on the charity go to braintumourresearch.org.