Woburn Sands parents' brain tumour research plea after son dies

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image copyrightNiki Patel
image captionShay was told his brain tumour was incurable when he was 11

The parents of a teenager who died from a brain tumour are marking what would have been his 14th birthday by calling for more investment into the disease.

Shay Patel, from Woburn Sands, Milton Keynes, died aged 13 in September, less than two years after his diagnosis.

Niki Patel said her "incredibly kind" son would have wanted "to really help children in the future".

She wants people to sign a Brain Tumour Research petition calling for more government-funded research.

image copyrightNiki Patel
image captionThe Bedford Modern School pupil had a younger brother Dylan and sister Jasmine
image copyrightNiki Patel
image captionThe "cruellest part of a brain tumour" is he lost the ability to walk, talk and eventually to swallow, mum Niki Patel said

The family had no warning that Shay was anything other than a healthy 11-year-old when he came into their room at 05:30 GMT in November 2018.

"All of a sudden he had just started to shake into a full seizure," Mrs Patel said.

Her "football-mad" son had been to training the night before, as well as attending school.

Mrs Patel said "by the time he arrived at A&E, he seemed back to his usual self and laughing and joking" so they were "shocked to the core" to discover the diagnosis.

image copyrightNiki Patel
image captionMrs Patel said shielding from Covid-19 meant taking the "difficult decision about taking him away from family and friends" in his final months
image copyrightNiki Patel
image captionThe family hope people will hear what happened to Shay and back calls to increase funding for cures for brain research

The family attempted alternative experimental treatment, first in the United States and then Germany, which had to be suspended due to Covid-19.

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

The charity's petition is looking to secure 100,000 signatures and is calling for £35m a year to be allocated to brain cancers, in line with breast cancer and leukaemia.

image copyrightNiki Patel
image captionThe "loving, funny and loyal young man who loved to help others" would been 14 on 21 January

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