Father’s anguish as brain tumour returns

Steve and his wife Carrie, with their children Emma and Mason in May 2015
Steve and his wife Carrie, with their children Emma and Mason in May 2015

A Luton-based police officer has spoken of his heartbreak after being told that his aggressive brain tumour has returned.

Steve Holbrook, 36, was a fit and healthy father-of-two until the beginning of last year, when he began to develop headaches and vision problems while training for his third marathon.

After first putting it down to low blood sugar, Steve carried on but lost peripheral vision during the eighth mile of the Milton Keynes Marathon and continued to suffer chronic headaches.

After being taken to A&E the 36-year-old lost all feeling in the left side of his body and vomited .

An MRI scan found that Steve had the most aggressive form of brain tumour, a grade 4 gliobomastoma multiforme, and in April 2015 he had surgery to remove the mass.

The procedure was successful, but in January Steve was told that his tumour was back.

He said: “It was a terrible blow and the lowest point I had felt since my diagnosis.

“I find it terrifying and very hard to come to terms with the fact that no-one can tell me what has caused my tumour.

“I have a number of relatives who have lived beyond their 80th birthday so would have hoped to live a long life, particularly as I had looked after myself.”

Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, but little is known about how the disease develops.

As such, Steve is still in the dark about what caused his condition.

He said: “Was it the fact that I was knocked off my bike as a teenager which caused the tumour?

“Or maybe something to do with playing rugby as a prop, when I was a younger man?

“The fact that so little is known about this illness which is so devastating, not just for patients but for their families as well, is a great injustice and why more research must be done.”

> Steve is working with Brain Tumour Research to raise awareness of the disease throughout March, for more information log on to www.braintumourresearch.org