Fife woman abseils Forth Bridge in fundraiser after dad died from a brain tumour
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Tony Thomson, 72 died from a glioblastoma (GBM) in August 2017, just four months after being diagnosed.
Now his eldest daughter, Catherine Thomson, 51, from Burntisland, will abseil the UNESCO World Heritage Site for the charity Brain Tumour Research on Sunday. To donate to Catherine’s JustGiving page, visit here
Catherine, a cancer data analyst statistician for NHS Scotland, said: “As soon as I heard what dad had, I knew it was a death sentence because the prognosis is so poor. A brain tumour is such a horrible disease; I’m doing this abseil in memory of dad and I really hope it helps others. More research for better treatments is desperately needed so people with brain tumours can have better outcomes.”
Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to brain tumours since records began in 2002.
During Christmas 2016, while visiting her parents, Catherine says she could see something was wrong with her dad who stayed on The Wirral, Merseyside,
“His character wasn’t the same; he was lethargic, and he didn’t want to do anything, whereas he would usually turn his hand to anything that needed doing,” she says.
“I visited again in April 2017 and dad just wasn’t himself. We couldn’t get a GP appointment, so we took him to A&E. He had blood tests, but the doctor said he didn’t think there was much wrong. I was concerned and, because of my knowledge of cancer, I insisted they do a scan. They eventually agreed -it revealed two inoperable brain tumours either side of his frontal lobe which were both five centimetres wide. I knew the statistics were poor and dad wasn’t going to live for very long.”
Tony, husband to Linda who died in August 2023, and dad to Gill, 49, was due to undergo radiotherapy, but it was cancelled after he got an infection. He was put on steroids to reduce swelling on his brain. He died at home with his family by his side.
Catherine says: “He was stuck in bed which was really hard for everyone. Dad was in a really low mood; he found it hard not being able to look after his family. I want to thank everyone for sponsoring me which will help to fund research into brain tumours. I’m really touched, particularly during the cost-of-living crisis.”
Matthew Price, community development manager at Brain Tumour Research said: “We’re really grateful to Catherine for abseiling the Forth Bridge as it’s only with the support of people like her that we’re able to progress our research into brain tumours and improve the outcome for patients like Tony who are forced to fight this awful disease.”