Gary's fundraiser for Brain Tumour Research - National 3 Peak Challenge
Fundraising for Brain Tumour Research
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I’m Gary Mackay, 37 years old, a husband to Lisa and a father to Sienna (8) and Sebastian (5). I was rushed to hospital after having an unexplained fall in the night, a few days later I was diagnosed with a Brain Tumour in November 2022 on the day of my 37th Birthday. I was discharged but re-admitted to hospital 5 days later where I suffered 4 repeated tonic-clonic seizures. As a result, I lost my driving license, along with my sense of independence due to being unable to be left alone unsupervised until my operation. Feeling like a burden on family and friends having to run me around or to take me and my children to their favourite activity clubs – to try and minimise the impact my illness had on their everyday life.
I underwent successful craniotomy surgery to remove my Grade 2, right frontal lobe Astrocytoma in March 2023 with continued monitoring via MRI scans. I returned to work in June 2023. Whilst the operation was a success, as we all know, cancer always comes back and eventually I will need further surgery along with radiotherapy and Chemotherapy. Whilst I was incredibly lucky that my tumour was able to be operated on, I had a superb network of family & friends and that I worked for a company which offered private medical care – not everyone is as lucky as I feel I have been through this. The moment I was diagnosed, it tore my family’s world apart. I had no previous idea that it was there, I’d put my headaches down to tiredness due to having a young busy family and spending my working hours in front of a computer screen – despite discovering the tumour being 5cm in size.
Which is why I decided I wanted to undertake the National Three Peak Challenge in May 2024, to push my body mentally and physically whilst raising as much money as possible to help to combat other families going through the same torment that I and my family did. This challenge will push me through the limits, totalling 26 miles of hiking.
Following me on my Three Peak journey will be 4 of my many excellent friends (Adam Ellis, James Collis, Liam Potts, and Simon Key) to help push each other all the way, on what will be an incredible worthwhile experience and challenge.
To those looking in, it may appear selfish of me to only raise money for Brain Tumour research, as opposed to cancer research overall. However, 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 this devasting disease since 2002. This is unacceptable! Only 12% diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years. Therefore, I hope people understand my motives for raising money for Brain Tumour Research as they are the only national charity dedicated to funding long-term, sustainable research in the UK. Please help me fund the fight. Together we will find a cure.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story. I appreciate the difficult financial times everyone is under at present. If you’re unable to donate, please could I kindly ask you to share my story as far and as many times as possible.
With your help, we can make a difference to the lives of many other families.