Gary Fordham

Hayden's Appeal

Fundraising for Brain Tumour Research
raised of £5,480 target
by 284 supporters
Brain Tumour Research

Verified by JustGiving

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


My name is Hayden and I am 13 years old. On 31 December 2018, my dad Gary and I, along with our little dog Buster, were in a terrifying accident on the M6 motorway. My dad had a seizure at the wheel of his work van when we were driving home to Bradford after visiting my grandparents in Swindon for Christmas. I was just 11 at the time.

When Dad lost control of the van, we veered off the road and up a verge. The van flipped on its side, ending up facing the oncoming traffic on the hard shoulder. I was stuck underneath Dad, who was unconscious, but I managed to find his mobile phone and called 999.

The call handler asked whereabouts we were but I had no idea. I was really scared and Buster wouldn’t stop barking, so I had to try and calm him down at the same time. Dad was trying to undo his seatbelt and I was shouting at him to stop, otherwise he would’ve fallen and crushed me. A man and woman came to help and told me to look away as they broke in with a saw to rescue us. I covered Buster’s eyes with one hand and my dad’s eyes with the other.

The motorists also called the emergency services and let them know we were between junctions 15 and 16, near Stoke-on-Trent. The Fire and Rescue Service got Dad out and a paramedic took Buster from the M6 and followed the ambulance in a response car. They were brilliant.  

When we got to hospital the doctors did some tests and we found out my dad has a brain tumour – that’s why he had passed out at the wheel. On 23 April 2019 he had an awake craniotomy and they took a biopsy, which showed the tumour was an astrocytoma. He had to have another operation on 9 May 2019, to remove part of his skull that got infected. He is still waiting for an operation to replace the missing bone flap with a titanium plate.

It’s nearly two years since our New Year’s Eve crash and we are appealing for information about the amazing people who stopped to help us, as we’d love to thank them. I have also set up this fundraiser to raise money for Brain Tumour Research. My dad and I have always been close but this shared experience brought us even closer together. Now I want to raise as much money as possible for Brain Tumour Research, to help prevent other families going through such a scary experience as we did.

Thank you for your support.

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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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+ £1,028.00 Gift Aid
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