Tony lived each day to the full. He grew up in Hartley Wintney and, before we married in 1999, he had travelled extensively throughout the world and kept meticulous diaries of his travels. Tony loved the outdoors and, before the birth of our children, we enjoyed paragliding, parachuting, skiing, camping and travelling together. His love of nature and the environment led him to campaign for recycling initiatives and other green issues. He was bright and articulate and was loved by everyone who knew him.
Tony was incredibly fit and, amongst other sporting activities, he loved to run. It was in April of 2004 that Tony came in from a run and told me that he had lost his balance a couple of times. We thought nothing of it really until it occurred a few more times. He wouldn’t fall, just stumble. He decided to see our GP who put it down to an ear infection. After three further visits to the GP, Tony was referred to a neurologist who organised an MRI scan. Nothing could have prepared us for the news that followed. Being an oncology nurse, I was fully aware of the implications of a brain stem glioma. Our lives were shattered. Dissatisfied with the treatment we were receiving in Oxford, we decided to go to see Prof Brada at the Marsden where we were treated with respect and dignity. Tony underwent radiotherapy and chemotherapy. He always said that this was not a battle, just something that we had to get on with.
“We set up The Fund to raise money towards the valuable research that The Brain Tumour Charity support. Our contribution may be a drop in the ocean but, if it helps to mean that one day a family will be spared the pain we feel, it is worth every effort.”
Tony’s determination was inspirational and we stood steadfast in our love for each other. On 15th December 2005, my wonderful husband died. In the hours leading to his death I held him so close and now I truly believe he holds me and the children every moment of our lives.
Benjamin was 5 and Amelia (Millie) was 3 when their Daddy died. We talk about Tony every day. It is so important to us as a family that his memory stays alive in their minds. We remember the special things that we did together. Tony’s ability to be meticulously organised has meant that Ben and Millie will know things about him from his travel diaries and letters to them. The support of our family and friends has got us to today but the pain never gets any easier.