In April 2017 Damian was admitted to hospital suddenly following an eye test that indicated a fail in his peripheral vision. The eye test was the peak of, what we now understand were symptoms of his condition, increasing personality change, anxiety and only quite recently before diagnosis - crippling headaches that lead onto the eye test. Upon referral from the eye test, a specialist eye Doctor was able to acknowledge there was pressure on his optic nerve and things escalated with lightening speed. CT scan showed a 'Substantial Mass' on Damian's brain followed by Mri scans that, then placed him under the care of a specialist MDT 'Neurological team at the Royal Preston Hospital. Further scans then showed that Damian had been living with an extremely large and rare brain tumour for a considerable number of years and following de-bulking of the tumour it was confirmed that the tumour was an aggressive cancer. Although Damian was told the cancer was incurable it was treatable, this gave him an unimaginable strength and created a a positivity in a one man that we have never witnessed. The cancer would limit his life but the one word 'treatable' erased any fear or need to know a prognosis for him. All Damian needed to know was that there was hope, that his young children would have their dad and that he would fight to find better treatments to give him more and more time with the ones he loved the most....Damian never acknowledged death to be his fate any time soon.
Damians recovery from surgery was quick, he tired easily but he insisted that family time wouldn't slow down., even when a second brain surgery was needed for infection only a few weeks after the first he continued to reassure us all with his positivity and strength. Daily and Intense Radiotherapy would be the first course of treatment followed by Chemotherapy.....sadly he never was able to 'take on' the chemotherapy and smash it as he planned!!!. Damian had finished his final radiotherapy session and spent a week away in Devon, with his wife Lisa and two younger children Henry and Claudia making memories and recharging ready for the next part of his journey. The following day after they arrived home Damian died suddenly from complications associated with his brain cancer....he was 45 years young with everything to live for.
Two weeks before Damian's death he had spoke about raising funds into researching disease and conditions of the brain including brain tumour that had affected him so suddenly. It would be his way to contribute back into progressing the treatments and care that he was receiving, to give back with his positivity.
So, we want to continue Damian's legacy as a family....when the lows of grief had gripped us so hard in the weeks after his death, we looked for something to focus on, something positive as he would wish and what would include the involvement of us all, something that would help us as mothers to be the best mothers we could be, whilst feeling like we couldn't go on at times, to be the strongest we could be at the toughest of times....Not doing things by halves we took on 'The London Marathon 2018'....we were lucky enough to secure a place to run on behalf of an amazing charity 'Brain Research Uk' in November - funding research into Brain Tumour, Alzheimers Disease & Dementia, Stroke, Parkinson's, Motor Neurone & acquired brain injury.
Right now, myself and Lisa are putting everything into doing Damian proud, training intensely hard, combining full time jobs and our children....just so we raise as much funds and awareness in his name and memory as we can. We want to give our children a beautiful positive experience at such a tragic time at 'The London Marathon 2018' We want to encourage them that when faced with the most harrowing times that 'We must face it, Challenge it and over come it' with a positive distraction and focus....a beautiful and amazing man called 'Damian Stuttard' taught us that.
Thank you for reading our story from Damian's wife and sister,
Lisa and Keira xx