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Mottingham cancer victim's widow backs call for greater brain tumour awareness

PUBLISHED: 16:40 25 October 2016 | UPDATED: 16:43 26 October 2016

Glenn and Wendy McMahon

Glenn and Wendy McMahon

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A new report reveals brain tumour research is relatively underfunded

The widow of a Mottingham man who lost his battle with a brain tumour is backing a call for greater awareness of the condition.

Father-of-two Glenn McMahon was just 53 when he passed away in June 2015 after suffering from an aggressive glioblastoma multiforme stage 4 brain tumour.

His widow Wendy, 54, says greater awareness of the condition among medical staff could help to save lives.

The couple realised something was wrong when Glenn was on the golf course.

“He had lost some movement in his feet. He was not able to position his feet properly, so he thought he had hurt his ankle,” Wendy explained.

When the weakness spread, he was referred to a neurologist - but it was three months before he was given an appointment.

“He underwent tests for nerve damage – I think they were looking for a nerve disorder like motor neurone disease,” Wendy explained.

“When all the tests came back negative they decided to scan his head.

“To be told it was a brain tumour was like being hit by a bus.”

When Glenn was told he had between 12 and 18 months to live, he decided to carry on living as normal a life as possible.

“We decided to get married and had a fabulous wedding day together at the beginning of February,” Wendy said.

“We just lived life to the full really. Glen was always his cheerful, lovely self.”

A new report by Brain Tumour Research reveals brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer – yet they receive just one per cent of national cancer expenditure.

“We need more awareness among doctors generally – GPs and consultants – of the possibility of a brain tumour,” Wendy explained.

“Glenn had an MRI on his spine but not his head. If they had done that, he would have been diagnosed earlier.

“The treatment Glenn had had been around for years. It is vital that they take research forward to find chemotherapies that do work successfully.”

Wendy recently completed a 120km section of the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage route in northern Spain, raising over £2,300 - enough to fund a day’s research.

“It was hard, but I met so many people walking for a variety of different reasons,” Wendy said. “I had a really great time and really enjoyed it.”

Her Justgiving page can be reached at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Wendy-McMahon3

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