Daughter aims to keep South Shields dad’s memory alive with brain tumour awareness campaign

Julie Lowe with dad Ian
Julie Lowe with dad Ian

The daughter of a South Tyneside taxi driver who died two-months after being diagnosed with a brain tumour is aiming to raise awareness of the disease - on Valentines Day.

Julie Lowe’s world was turned upside on February 14, 2017, when dad Ian, from South Shields, died at the age of just 56, and only two months after being diagnosed with a CNS lymphoma.

Ian Lowe

Ian Lowe

The disease was so aggressive his treatment options were bleak and he was unable to fight it,

Since his death Julie, 31, has been supporting the Brain Tumour Research charity to raise awareness of the disease.

She said: “Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating your loved ones but for me, it will always be tinged with sadness. I would give anything to be with my dad but the next best thing is making a difference in his name.

“It all began when he started having problems with his eyes such as double vision. It turned out to be cataracts and as he was having surgery to fix this, the surgeon found something behind one of his eyes. Dad downplayed it to protect me but I noticed that he wasn’t quite right and was getting confused.

“The next month, Dad collapsed and was rushed to hospital with a suspected stroke but an MRI scan and biopsy confirmed he had a brain tumour. Dad deteriorated so quickly after that point and died in hospital.”

Brain tumours they kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer yet, historically, just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to the disease.

Ms Lowe added: “I had no idea how a brain tumour could destroy someone’s life like that and it saddens me that research into a cure is so underfunded.”

Next month, is brain tumour awareness month and Ms Lowe hopes her story will help raise awareness if the disease.

Andrea Pankiw, community fundraising manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “Thank you to Julie for sharing her story and helping to raise awareness. Many people will relate to her experience and events like Valentine’s Day can be extremely difficult for people who are bereft, living with a brain tumour, or coping with a loved one’s diagnosis.”

Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated Centres of Excellence in the UK.

To make a donation, to Brain Tumour Research visit www.braintumourresearch.org/donation/donate-now