A Newton Longville mum, who lost her only son just five days after his 29th birthday to a brain tumour, is asking people to donate to her daughter’s fundraising page after she recently took on a daredevil challenge to raise funds for research into the disease.
Jane Hartley, an employee at the Open University for 15 years until her recent retirement, watched her daughter Kate Coates take part in an abseil in memory of her brother Adam Hartley who, like Kate, grew up in the family home in Newton Longville.
Adam was first diagnosed in January 2013, aged 26, after it was initially thought he had contracted meningitis, as he was experiencing excruciating headaches.
Kate, 32, took on the Dartmoor Drop abseil to raise funds for the national charity Brain Tumour Research based in Shenley Wood, Milton Keynes, where her mother is a volunteer.
Jane watched fearfully as Kate launched herself, 50 metres above the ground, from the impressive Meldon Viaduct, one of the UK’s last remaining wrought iron constructions.
Jane explains: “Adam underwent two operations, as well as radiotherapy, and for two years he seemed to have got his life back. He enjoyed his job as an engineer for a firm in Hemel Hempstead, as well as playing his beloved golf, and had a lovely partner, called Poppy. However, in July 2015, he started to feel unwell again.
Adam was subsequently readmitted to hospital in Oxford where they found the tumour had returned and spread. Tragically, we lost Adam in October of that year, just after he turned 29.
“Adam was very special to us – we had a very close bond. He was really outgoing and funny, and loved his golf and football. However he didn’t like heights and would think Kate was nuts to abseil off a bridge, but I know he would be very proud of her too.
Carol Robertson, head of community fundraising for Brain Tumour Research said: “We are extremely grateful to Kate and all her family for their support. Shockingly, less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years, so it’s vital that campaigners like Kate and Jane help to shine the spotlight on this neglected cancer. We desperately need more awareness and research investment so we can find a cure.”
You can still sponsor Kate at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Katecoates