Alan & Rene Hogg

Jennyhogg's Page

Fundraising for Brain Tumour Research
raised of £50,000 target
by 120 supporters
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In memory of Jennifer Hogg
Brain Tumour Research

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RCN England and Wales 1153487, Scotland SC046840
We fund long-term, sustainable research to find a cure for brain tumours


Born on the 15th October 1980, Jennifer, a sister for David. Jenny was all we could have asked for and a good deal more! Whereas David was a terribly quiet and easy baby and young child, Jenny never was. She was always a challenge - take from that what you want - but we would never have changed her. From when she could speak, she left you in no doubt what she thought or wanted. This was eventually captured by Prue McL , "a costume wifie" at Forth Childrens Theatre in the expression "Blunt Kindness" so apt!
Jenny loved hockey at school, but it was only recently that Rene told me of all kinds of excuses Jenny used to miss school but Carol G at Trinity Academy kept her going with the result that Jen was the first in our family to go to university and achieve her goal with a degree in Stage Management from QMUC. She had always loved "theatre" and from a young age she could memorise song lyrics having sat in her buggy at FCT while Rene and I helped out in various roles. Ultimately it appeared that both Rene and Jenny could memorise a complete show from having seen it once! Personally I cannot remember lines or moves for shows I have performed in!
Jenny had a huge circle of friends and acquaintances, many we still have contacts with ourselves from school, QMUC, and theatre companies plus the ones she specially said to "come and stay with us, Mum and Dad wont mind." Some others we know, lived with her in various flats and they are all lovely people.
There were two other passions in her life, one was cars and the other was the Irish family. Fair to say she went through cars like a dose of salts, as soon as she got fed up with one, of we went to the car showrooms! It was often great fun to meet car salesmen who moved between companies as well. The number of times we would walk into a showroom to be greeted with "Jenny, great to see you, what this time?" VW, BMW, Honda, MG etc.
Ireland was where we all relaxed though. She and all the cousins had great times. There were obviously favourites due to age, location, work etc but with her aunts and uncles as well there was always great craic especially Roy who called her Jennyhogg, one word, "Ah Jennyhogg whats happening?"

So when did our world start to fall apart? September to November 2011saw Jen suffering with pain above the eyes and after three different antibiotics for sinusitis, Jen was getting really fed up with the pain and one Sunday she said that enough was enough and she called NHS24 and got an appointment at the Western General. With the acute insight of one particular doctor, who suddenly said that she thought she knew what was wrong and subsequent scans the horrible diagnosis was given - a brain tumour. How would you cope with someone saying that to you? Jenny just went for it - ok, lets get started! They were going to send her home but she argued that they were not going to send her home to come back in 3 days for surgery - guess what she won! We remember the day well. Rene, David and I were sitting in the car of the Neuro car park at the WGH waiting to see her come back from theatre when what do we see but her kind of sitting up on the trolley heading for the lift to ITU. That was not someone who had just gone through brain surgery but it was.....The porters had to make her stay on the trolley coming up the corridor which is a steep slope, she wanted to get off and make it lighter for them!Well as you might imagine, she recovered very quickly and very well. And soon after discharge home we started the visits to RTU to get a shield made for her face to protect the good bits and aim at the bad bits plus the chemotherapy from a terrific bunch of nurses. We had some great times there despite what was going on. 

Life carried on, Jen volunteered for any trials going, as she said these wont help me but others might be. We had good times, scans were coming back showing nothing was growing - all ok until......August 2013 when we got a phone call from the Nurse Bank where she had returned to work, saying she wasn't well. I drove along and found Jen who was definitely not right. Somehow she persuaded me not to take her round to the hospital and so we went home! In fairness she did get a bit better, we did increase the steroids a small bit......and then went to Ireland on holiday.                                      

One highlight if we can call it that was when we were travelling down through Ireland on the motorway to the family at Derrylough and we stopped for a break at the services north of Dublin as we did usually. When we went back to the car Jenny asked could she drive - well oh dear, I know it was illegal, she had no licence now and no insurance - but I let her drive on the understanding that if she started to feel unwell or I saw she was not driving capably, then she stopped. Ok so she broke the speed limit but she loved it, she had always loved her cars and that was the last time she was behind the wheel. Looking back on the holiday, perhaps we shouldn't have gone but we did, it was not a good holiday, it was obvious there was a problem but we were all together with the Irish family, as one!

When we got back to Edinburgh, we saw the consultant after new scans were done. Rene and I will never forget that clinic appointment when the consultant told us the tumour had spread to the other half of the brain and was growing. What to do? Options were put on the table - there was no surgical option, chemotherapy could be tried but it was explained there was no saying it would do any good and into the bargain she would be very unwell while having it, so...... Jenny decided enough was enough, they were saying in reality there was no treatment and so we went home to treat symptoms etc and enjoy life as much as possible. And so in October we celebrated her birthday together and then Jenny announced that we were definitely going to her annual holiday place at Piper Dam - which I had unknown to her cancelled as we didn't think it could happen. But it did after some phone calls to P D and getting a vacant lodge and Mandy came with us on this occasion. Jenny had always taken Rene and myself for our wedding anniversary including once the year of "THE BIG SNOW" - which was fun! This visit was a lovely time together although in Dundee (we always did Christmas shopping in the shopping centre) Mandy didn't quite have the wheelchair technique for accessing pavements and yes Jen was seen flying forward as the wheel hit the kerb - no damage done and lots of laughs later we did return to Piper dam and the four of us went to the restaurant and had food and wine together.                                   

 Christmas approached and her "girl friends" organised a party for her, just themselves they had all kinds of games and there are stories of Jenny really enjoying herself and participating as much as she could.     It was obvious however that Jenny was deteriorating and the steroids were having the well known effect of making one extremely bloated, Jen was changing in body and mind. 

 Christmas and New Year came and went, anyone who has been in this position knows we all try to keep positive, try to keep happy was very difficult for Rene and I to keep going. Rene stopped work to look after Jen, I worked when I felt I could and Jen's friends kept coming to visit her. It is quite accepted that animals especially dogs, know when people are sick, and there are some lovely photos of David and family's dog Ollie, when he came through he jumped up beside Jenny and just cuddled in!

 Through January and February, it became ever more difficult for our Jen to get about, and as March approached we three knew the end was fast approaching. The District Nurse came to the place, 10/10, where Jen had chosen for Rene and I to stay and also where she was going to stay when she had put us into a nursing home! Life wasn’t working as it should - no parents should lose their child - but it happens too often. Betty, the nurse was oh so good but she couldn’t persuade Jenny to have a hospital bed......well not yet! Jenny loved her double bed but this was to probably cause the last laughs we had with her. But that’s for later. Jenny’s immobility increased and we had two very nasty occasions both trying to have a shower when she slipped and on both occasions we had to get help - I was really frustrated and annoyed with myself as I just couldn’t help her out, the ambulance service said it would be a couple of hours to get to  us and so Irish Phil and Kerr were called and both were brilliant in extricating her from the shower. In some ways this seemed to move things on a bit and Jen’s condition deteriorated more. And so to the last bit of fun.              

As I said Jenny loved her bed and when the OT’s offered some more help they said we could get the bed raised to make it easier all round and so “the bed lads” came and put risers on the legs but there was something we all forgot - the supporting legs in the middle under the bed! Well Jen sat on the edge of the bed, that was easier as it was higher, we helped her swing her body round and in and then....... yes the bed collapsed! Well the shock turned to laughter but what to do.......I had a thought and disappeared down to the car and returned with the car jack. They both thought I was mad but got the jack under the middle strut of the bed and slowly pumped it up ..slowly ... yes we were there. Jenny relaxed and all  was stable, she slept ok and the next morning Betty came round. We said there had been a bit of fun with the bed, Betty laughed with us and she bent forward onto the edge of the bed and yes......the bed collapsed with Betty and Jenny in it. When the laughter subsided, Betty told Jenny enough was enough and she said she would get a nice comfortable bed in. 

Well the bell went a couple of hours later and in came two lads with a device all folded up which we could not think was a bed but within 20 minutes this beauty of a bed with air mattress etc magically formed in front of us. The lads were brilliant in the job and super with Jen as well. It was lovely as well to hear her relax in the bed - it really was good to see her body sink into the bed and hear her breathing easy, she was content. She still had a sense of what we will call humour and as the 'bed lads' were about to leave, she said " with everything this bed can do, it would be great for sex!" Oh dear, how we all laughed - for the last time.

Over the next day things suddenly changed, Jenny slept more,  spoke less and wasn’t interested in food. Betty also involved the Marie Curie nurses and unbelievably the first night they came Rene and I slept all night! These nurses were brilliant and lovely with it and so a day where Jen was less and less with us, through the next night when they required a doctor to give Jenny some extra medication. Well he rang the doorbell, saw to Jen and left - and we heard nothing! The nurse left us in the morning saying how much she admired and liked Jenny and although they are not allowed to ask to come back another night choosing her client, she told us she was going to request a return visit.                  

Well come 10am that day, it was clear the end was coming close. Her brother David was with us and as we approached midday Betty and another nurse came to check how we all were. Betty said that they would leave and come back  in a wee while, but I said not to leave the end was close.......and the next minute, Jenny left us! She was gone and so our life changed forever.

 To all who helped in any way our eternal thanks and love to you all.

As one could expect, Jenny’s funeral was huge and had the theatre theme throughout - a 1st and 2nd act, interval and after show party.  The 'After Show Party' was held at FCT's home -Inverleith Church Hall and we were told by the bar staff that they served over 500 free drinks - including teas and coffees, as a toast to Jenny! An enormous amount of money was raised and split between Marie Curie and Brain Tumour Research. 

So that was March and very quickly there was talk of a theatre show to raise funds for BTR and so it was by the October, Waiting in the Wings was performed in the Churchill Theatre, Edinburgh, sold out two nights plus a massive raffle and we raised over £15,000 plus out of that. Since then we have continued raising money with parachute jumps etc and it goes without saying we love you all, those who have done, paid, helped whatever.

Bless you Jenny, may you be driving fast cars and organising things wherever you are!

Due to Covid, this year’s special show for Jenny’s 40th of Avenue Q in the Church HillTheatre was postponed an so  has been booked in for October ‘21 - watch out for it everyone!

Well here we are, 23rd October 2023, the result is in from Still Waiting in the wings, the show to break £50k, at the moment it stands at £53,981.76 - absolutely fantastic, no words express our thanks to everyone who donated , worked in any way, the cast, stage crew, Front of House, raffle, parents....anyone else we have missed??? Thank you, thank you, thank you. Rene, David & Alan XXX

About the charity

Brain Tumour Research

Verified by JustGiving

RCN England and Wales 1153487, Scotland SC046840
Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer. Just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this disease. We are a leading voice calling for support and action for research into what is called the last battleground against cancer.

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