RHONDDA CYNON TAF: In a heartfelt revelation, Councillor Wendy Lewis, the elected representative for Llwynypia and current mayor, has shared the devastating loss of her husband, Paul Lewis, to a malignant brain tumour in 2008, after his symptoms were initially mistaken for depression.
The tragic ordeal began when Paul, who was only 45 at the time, experienced headaches, lethargy, and a heightened sensitivity to noise. “Paul wasn’t himself, often remaining in bed when he typically would be readying for work. Loud noises troubled him immensely,” Wendy recalled.
Mistaking his symptoms for depression, Wendy approached their family GP for a home visit. A quick examination revealed a sinister mass behind Paul’s eyes, leading to an emergency rush to Royal Glamorgan Hospital A&E.
Despite the best efforts of medical professionals, the aggressive nature of Paul’s tumour rendered surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy untenable. The grim prognosis confined him to palliative care.
“The entire ordeal was incredibly rapid,” Wendy shared, her voice thick with emotion. “With our three children all under 18 at the time, it’s a testament to their resilience how they coped.”
Having endured the agonising loss, Wendy, now a grandmother of two and a quality project manager, champions the cause of Brain Tumour Research. “Compared to other well-known cancers, brain tumours remain largely overlooked. Symptoms can vary wildly among patients, making it even more crucial to understand and treat this devastating disease,” she remarked.
In a bid to channel her grief into purpose, Councillor Lewis has chosen Brain Tumour Research as one of her mayoral charities of the year. Kicking off the partnership is a golf day scheduled at Rhondda Golf Club on 15 September. She has also lined up quiz nights, dinner events, and family activities over the subsequent months, alongside fundraising for her three other nominated charities.
Mel Tiley, of Brain Tumour Research, acknowledged Wendy’s poignant endeavour, stating, “Paul’s unfortunate story is far from unique. Brain tumours, despite being the leading cause of cancer deaths in children and adults under 40, receive a minuscule 1% of national cancer research funding.”
The charity calls for a substantial increase in the annual national expenditure on brain tumour research, matching the investment for other cancers like breast cancer and leukaemia.
For those interested in contributing to this noble cause, details for fundraising opportunities are available on www.braintumourresearch.org/fundraise/corporate-fundraising.