The Kate Fenney Memorial Fund was set up after Kate lost her life to a Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM4) in April 2014.
Kate was born in 1957, the eldest of 4 sisters. Her dad was hugely proud of the fact that she won a place at Grammar School. He had also achieved this at her age, but his parents were unable to raise the money for uniform for him to take advantage of this. For Kate this meant over three hours travel a day, but she left school at 16 with 8 O’Levels.
Kate and I met when we were both at school when she was just 14 and we married when she was 20. By then she was working in International Banking for Lloyds Bank. After our two children, Jodi and Jack were born, Kate decided not to continue in banking and we formed a company in the music industry, importing drum and percussion products into the UK. Our children and remarkable staff run this now but Kate’s presence is still very much felt there.
In late 2012 Kate had some symptoms that were initially thought to be Shingles. After a week these were still not getting better and her concentration level was slightly less than her usual multi-tasking self, so we called our local GP’s surgery. They arranged an appointment within an hour. After a brief consultation it was recommended that she went immediately to the Medical Assessment Unit at The Royal Worcester Hospital. After initial tests there it was becoming apparent that we had more to worry about than we expected. She was admitted to Worcester for further tests and then transferred to Coventry University Hospital, when it was established she had the first of her subsequent two brain tumours. She went through a 12 hour operation to de-bulk this tumour, followed by Chemotherapy and a 6 week course of Radiotherapy. Despite the toll this took on her physically she never complained and was always more worried about putting the staff at the hospital out with the ‘nuisance’ of all this.
“Her death affected many people of course, and her wish is that we try and help other people in any way we can to get through the unbelievably painful ordeal of Brain Tumours. Thank you everyone for all of the money that you have raised or will raise in Kate’s beautiful memory”
By the late summer of 2013 Kate and I were able to go to Spain for a much needed holiday. Whilst we were there her Nurse Specialist, who had been such a huge help to us both, phoned to say that the recent MRI scan was so good we should open another bottle of Champagne to celebrate. We came back ready to help our daughter in the preparation of her wedding planned for May 2014, and to both start back at work together.
The next blow was only weeks later when Kate again had symptoms that this time were more severe. She now had a 2nd tumour and the first tumour was again active. She was admitted to the Queen Elizabeth hospital for more surgery and a clinical trial drug programme, which sadly did not work as well as we hoped. She transferred back to the care of Coventry as an out-patient, where her team now felt like old friends. We spent the next few months as a close family, with visits from friends and relatives and wonderful support from everyone who knew and loved Kate. She died peacefully at home surrounded by her close family, exactly as she wished. Sadly we lost Kate before the wedding of our daughter Jodi, but her presence felt on that day was huge and it was still a fantastic time, though just short of perfect.
Craig Fenney, Jack Fenney, Jodi and Stuart Millership