A DAD battling a brain tumour has launched a campaign of hope this Christmas to help scientists find a cure for the disease.
David Kingston has launched the Brain Tumour Research Hope Tree appeal at the University of Portsmouth where scientists are working to improve outcomes for patients.
I am determined not to let my illness define me or rule my life.David Kingston
Along with his family, the 46-year-old was at the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence to hang baubles on the Hope Tree.
First diagnosed nine years ago, David underwent surgery and follow-up treatment for a low-grade tumour.
Now his tumour has begun to regrow, this time it is designated as high-grade, and he faces more chemotherapy.
The dad-of-two, from Southsea, said: ‘This is my life, this is the hand I have been dealt and I have to get on and live it as best I can.
‘I am determined not to let my illness define me or rule my life.’
David added the support from his family has been amazing.
‘My wife has been incredible, having always been by my side,’ he said.
‘Thanks to her, and the amazing group of friends we have, it is overwhelming to feel their constant love and support. I never spend time worrying about myself but I do worry about my family.
‘The hardest thing is thinking about Kim and the children and what will happen to them without me being here to pick the pieces.
‘Sadly, I know only too well the pain of loss as my beautiful daughter Emma passed away in July 2013.
‘We’ve always been honest with Jessica and Charlie, they know I have a brain tumour and that I’m going to have more treatment.
‘I am determined to remain positive.’
Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer and each year, 16,000 people are diagnosed.
David is campaigning to raise awareness of brain tumours and, along with Brain Tumour Research, lobbying the government and larger cancer charities to see the national spend increased to between £30m to £35m a year.
To help boost donations and raise awareness, he launched the Hope Tree.
He is now inviting people to take part by making a donation and sending a special message written on a bauble of hope which will be hung on the tree.
David added: ‘I am resigned to the fact that there is a fight ahead but my view is that I can’t deal with it until I know exactly what I have to deal with and, in that way, I try not to spend time worrying about the unknown.’
To find out more visit braintumourresearch.org/donation/hope-tree-appeal.