Ben is alive and well, although in January 2007 it was a very different story. He was diagnosed with an aggressive, malignant brain tumour when he was only 7 years old. The bottom fell out of our perfect world. Following brain surgery and months of gruelling treatment including radiotherapy and chemotherapy, Ben is a picture of health and is doing much better than we could ever have imagined. However, the dread and fear of the tumour returning is very real and he continues to be scanned every three months. So we just take three months at a time and consider ourselves extremely lucky for each new day.
Every day we live with the threat of disease recurrence because whilst there are treatments, there is no cure, devastating to hear as a parent. Brain tumours now account for more deaths among children and those under 40 than any other cancer yet brain cancer research is extremely under funded. There is a desperate need to understand the many types of brain tumours in order to target them with the most appropriate treatments so that ultimately one day we can find a cure for this evil disease.
This is one of the reasons we set up an umbrella group with the Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust, but also as a celebration of Ben’s bravery and courage against all odds and to give hope to others. He is a true inspiration and continues to light up our lives and the lives of those around him.
SDBTT BEN SAMBROOK FUND have raised in excess of £50,000 to date and have supported a number of research projects to improve diagnosis and treatment in patients with high grade glioma, like Ben.
We now feel that despite the desperate situation we continue to find ourselves in, we are doing something positive, making a difference by improving the outcome for others with brain tumours. For us this means Ben’s illness has not been in vain.
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The Sambrook Family