A man whose life has been devastated by an incurable brain tumour are backing a charity’s plea for equal funding by the Government.
Owen Copland from Merseyside was told he has just weeks left to live after receiving the diagnosis in November 2020.
Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer in people aged 40 or under, but despite this, other cancers receive more funding.
Historically just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to the devastating disease.
of cancer research spending is allocated to brain tumours.
Owen, a drama student, suffered headaches for around a month before he was diagnosed with the disease.
Despite memory loss and slipping into unconsciousness, ambulance and hospital staff did not spot the tumour.
Just days after its discovery Owen underwent a life-saving operation, and has also undergone radiotherapy and additional surgeries.
But despite the 20-year-old’s fight for life, scans revealed significant growth in the tumour – giving doctors no choice but to give the extremely bleak prognosis.
Jane Copland, Owen’s sister said: “I think the most upsetting part for me was seeing Owen wake up and not being able to look at my baby brother and say ‘you’re done now, well done for going through this surgery, but he’s still got a massive fight ahead of you’.”
It was hard to look at him in the eyes and say ‘you’ve done really well [in surgery], but that’s it now, you’ve got all this left to face’ – it was just really hard.
He has now moved back home with his family where, on just 24 hours notice, he was able to marry girlfriend Sarah Jones.
Jane added: “It was absolutely amazing, we live streamed it and had professional photographers and things like that so it was documented and absolutely lovely.”
Owen’s family are now fighting for change around the disease, and for awareness to be raised among medical staff.
Jane said: “We were being told it might be mental health, that was the assumption that was made. He was just a student, he was young, it could be Covid.
“My mum and family knew that it wasn’t right but people weren’t really listening.”
I think there is a need for more funding. We need to know how to diagnose it, why it happens. People need to be educated.
Hugh Adams, from Brain Tumour Research added: “We need to invest in scientific research and we’re not asking for anything different – we just want parity of funding with breast cancer and leukemia, £35million a year.
“Let’s do the discovery science, understand the disease and improve options and outcomes for brain tumour patients like Owen.”
Although Owen does not have much time left, his family hope their campaigning for more funds may help to save the lives of others in the future.
For more information on brain tumours, and links to donate, click here.