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Our Inspiration - Samantha

Samantha’s story

Samantha Dickson 1Samantha was a bright, lively, happy, fun-loving girl, who enjoyed school, music, drama, sports, swimming, modern and tap dancing, travel and skiing. She played the flute and piano and was a dedicated scholar, working for distinction in all her exams.

Sam had an incredible zest for life, and always wanted to be where the action was – whether playing for the local badminton club, Fleet Falcons, or competing on behalf of The Farnborough, Aldershot & District Athletic Club, or going to parties and discos with her friends. She was also a member of the Orwell School of Dancing, doing ballet when young, but later preferring modern and tap dancing. Samantha enjoyed going to the theatre, especially to London to see the latest play or musical, and belonged to the school theatre group. Her brothers and friends were an important part of her life. Sam had lived in the area all her life, attending the local village infant and junior school, brownies and later guides, as well as the sports and dance clubs. She moved on to St. Nicholas’ School at the age of 11, and was so happy. She loved being involved in drama events, netball, lacrosse and other sports matches. It was a pleasure to attend Parent’s Evening and hear praise from all her teachers.

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Drama: “Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme”

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Sport: Off to swim with the Dolphins in Israel

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Sport: Skiing in Austria

At the age of 14, Samantha’s life was shattered when she was diagnosed with a brain tumour. She had been having unusual headaches and minor blackouts for many months, and despite seeking medical advice both privately and through the NHS, it took ten months before it was discovered she had a brain tumour. Despite her illness, she was determined to be in the school plays, and also applied to the local nursery school to do her two week’s work experience as she loved little children, and thoroughly enjoyed her first week with them.

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“Daisy Pulls it off” (Sam 3rd back left)

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“The Ragged Child” (right)

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Helping the children

Unfortunately the second week of work experience was spent in hospital having numerous blood transfusions after the effect of chemotherapy. Her last day in hospital was spent convincing the doctors that she was well enough to go on holiday to Barbados with her family the next day. She did it too!

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At steel drums – her love of music still strong!

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With her brothers, James and William

Travel was also an important and exciting part of Samantha’s life, and as her father was in the aviation business, had many opportunities throughout her short life to experience other cultures. She usually made a friend within the first few hours of arrival, and many kept in touch with her. Some still continue to keep in touch and support the charity, which is a tremendous honour to her memory.

It was the love of her family and the support of her friends throughout her illness that gave her the strength to fight. She fought bravely for two and a half years and never gave up or complained.

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With her best friend “Bess”

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A cuddle from younger brother William during treatment


Samantha's parents - our Founders

Neil and Angela Dickson founded The Brain Tumour Charity after they sadly lost their daughter Samantha

Find out more


We are also inspired by Joseph who sadly passed away in 2007. His father, Andy, founded and ran The Joseph Foote Trust for over 10 years before its merger with Brain Tumour UK and subsequently The Brain Tumour Charity.

Read Joseph’s story

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