Grieving daughter is raising money for charity in dad’s memory who died of cancer

‘What happened to him was so fast and such a shock’

A Daventry mum-of-two is preparing to take part in a charity’s month-long fitness challenge to help find a treatment for brain tumours, after losing her father to cancer earlier this year.

Kelly Wellman, a stock controller from Daventry, is taking part in the Brain Tumour Research charity’s 100 a Day Your Way challenge in memory of her late father, Dave Wellman, who died in October last year, just five months after being diagnosed with a secondary brain tumour.

Kelly said: “Dad was so funny. He used to joke about everything and he loved life. What happened to him was so fast and such a shock because we never considered it could be a brain tumour.

Dave, a security supervisor, was first suspected of suffering a stroke due to his slurred speech and minor sagging of his face. He was also being examined for swallowing difficulties.

A scan revealed he had a four-centimetre brain tumour, which was linked to melanoma for which he had been given the all-clear from doctors more than a decade earlier. Dave had surgery followed by stereotactic radiosurgery, a precise and specialised treatment delivered using a Gamma Knife.

His speech and mobility continued to deteriorate. In January, he learned his tumour had spread.

Kelly said: “He had lots of tiny tumours in between the lining of his brain and skull. The original one had exploded and spread everywhere, and there was nothing that could be done.”

The father-of-two was diagnosed with a secondary brain tumour in October 2022.

Dave passed away in March, five months after his brain tumour diagnosis. He was 63 years old.

Kelly decided to support the Brain Tumour Research charity, which funds sustainable research at dedicated centres in the UK, to raise awareness of the need for research and financing.

“A few years ago, he wouldn’t have had the treatment options he did, so I realise the benefits of research and want to do what I can to help raise awareness of the need for greater investment in it,” said Kelly.

The Brain Tumour Research organisation advocates for the government and larger cancer charities to invest more in brain tumour research to speed up new treatments for patients and, eventually, discover a cure.

Charlie Allsebrook, community development manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “With one in three of us knowing someone affected by a brain tumour, Kelly’s story is, sadly, not unique.

“Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease since records began in 2002.”

The charity is the primary force behind the proposal for a £35 million national yearly investment to improve survival rates and patient outcomes similar to other cancers, such as breast cancer and leukaemia.

The Brain Tumour Research charity’s 100 a Day Your Way challenge requires participants to complete 100 squats, 100 star jumps, 100 sit-ups, 100 seconds of a plank, or a combination of all four exercises each day in November.

Kelly said: “The more I think about it, the harder it seems, but I’m looking forward to having something motivate me to exercise every day. I go swimming on Mondays, so I might look to include 100 laps each week, as well as doing the squats, star jumps and other exercises like push-ups and bicycle crunches.”

People can contribute to Kelly's fundraising efforts through her JustGiving page and learn more about the challenge by visiting the Brain Tumour Research charity's website.

Charlie said: “We’re determined to change this. We’re really grateful to Kelly for taking on this challenge and wish her the best of luck with it. Together we will find a cure.”

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