Donations flood in for dad-to-be fighting brain tumour

Adam and Tasha in their son's nursery holding their sonogram

Adam Dilley and his partner Tasha are due to welcome their first child - a baby boy - on December 3 - Credit: Brain Tumour Research

A Shefford salon has launched a fundraiser to support a 30-year-old who has been diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour, just weeks before he is set to become a father for the first time.

Adam Dilley was rushed to A&E at the start of October with a cancerous mass on his brain, after suffering with excruciating headaches and blurred vision for the best part of two months.

Since undergoing surgery on November 1 at Addenbrookes Hospital, Shefford native Adam, who now lives on the outskirts of Bedford, has been in high spirits.

Adam and his partner Tasha have been told that the operation was a success, but have a gruelling eight months of treatment ahead.

A cancer diagnosis is devastating news at the best of times, but it has come as an extra blow, as Tasha is due to welcome a baby boy on December 3 - in just two weeks time.

Adam and Tasha in their son's nursery holding their sonogram

Adam Dilley, 30, said he is "overwhelmed" by the support of friends, family and strangers after being diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour - Credit: Brain Tumour Research

With those close to the Dilleys distraught by Adam's diagnosis, family friend Cindy Smith - owner of The White Rooms in Shefford - took it upon herself to do whatever she could to support the couple during such a life-changing time.

Cindy Smith (right) of The White Rooms in Shefford, with co-owner Kristina Thompson

Cindy Smith (right) of The White Rooms in Shefford, with co-owner Kristina Thompson - Credit: Cindy Smith

Intending to do a raffle at her salon, she set up a GoFundMe to run alongside, with the goal of raising £2,000 to keep Adam and Tasha financially comfortable. In the 10 days since launching the page, more than £10,000 worth of donations have been pledged.

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She said: "You hear of these things, but you never expect it to happen to you."

"They are such a lovely family."

She hopes that the money raised will relieve the couple of any financial worries, with both Adam - who works at GKN Aerospace in Luton - and Tasha now unable to work.

"They're not for wanting anything. I just thought that I've got to do something about this. I can't let my friend suffer. 

She added: "If he could just have a bit of life with his baby that's due in two weeks, without the worry of anything... I just want to help them, though, I didn't expect it to take off!

"Adam's going to fight. What we're doing will give him the fight. We're going to really help and support him in any way we can."

And that sentiment has radiated throughout Shefford, with local business owners offering prizes for a raffle and an open day next Saturday at The White Rooms - all in aid of Adam and his family.

Touched by the support offered by the wider community, Adam told the Comet that the arrival of "little man" is getting him through.

"It's overwhelming, really. It's just a case of taking everything day by day. We won't know the outcome of how well everything goes with the treatment for a while, so it's just a case of taking every day as it comes."

With some courses of treatment being administered at home, Adam added that it'll be a huge comfort that he'll be with his bundle of joy during his chemotherapy: "It's what keeps me motivated and upbeat.

"I've got the baby to think about, which is taking my mind off it.

"It's obviously really exciting, but it's more exciting now, because it's going to take my mind off everything else.

He added: "As bad as everything is at the minute, I'll be here, at home, most of the time - and for a while - to spend time with the little man. Every cloud and that.

"I get to be here with him. If there's something to take away from it, it's that."

Adam noted he was thankful for the support from Cindy, the team at The White Rooms, and all those who have donated.

"It's overwhelming seeing how much they've raised. It's absolutely amazing," he said. "I can't thank them enough."

Hugh Adams, head of stakeholder relations at Brain Tumour Research, said: “We were so sorry to learn that Adam has been diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour. Our thoughts are with Adam as he enters the next stage of his treatment and we wish him and Tasha all the best for the safe arrival of their baby boy.

“Less than 20 per cent of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50 per cent across all cancers. Unlike most other cancers, incidences of and deaths from brain tumours are rising.

"Funding for research into brain tumours needs to be increased to £35 million a year in order to prevent more families from going through this utter nightmare.

"We owe it to Adam, Tasha and to everyone for whom a brain tumour diagnosis becomes a devastating reality.”

To contribute to the GoFundMe, visit gofund.me/9e9f51f1.

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