This fund has been set up in honour of two incredible men who have lost their lives to High Grade Glioblastoma – a form of brain cancer. It aims to raise funds in their name in order to help those in the future who will have to face the same difficulties that they did.
My husband Ray was diagnosed in September 2012 with a grade four Glioblastoma, just three weeks after returning from a wonderful holiday in Kefolonia. Little did we realise that on our return from our beautiful holiday, all our hopes and dreams for the future would be taken from us.
Ray had not been himself for roughly three months prior to diagnosis. Originally we’d just put some of his behaviour changes down to the possibility that he was overworked and possibly suffering from stress. He was forgetful and unable to organise simple tasks, and his physical coordination suffered also. He become anxious and lacked the confidence to undertake everyday things.
We went to the doctor, fearing that he might be suffering from early onset dementia. She said this was unlikely, and arranged an emergency scan – though unfortunately ’emergency’ still carries with it a two-week wait. In the meantime, Ray – who had been sleeping more than usual and suffering from mild headaches – suffered a headache so severe that he was vomiting, a headache he described as his head exploding. We immediately drove to A&E, where an on-the-spot scan lead the doctor to deliver his terrible diagnosis. Ray was told it was likely he had 14 months to live.
“Ray fought to the very end to make a difference – to himself and to the people he loved around him – every single day. He showed determination, strength and love, but those qualities do not need to end with him. “
Even though the diagnosis was terminal, the doctors indicated that there were operations and treatments that could be undertaken to prolong his life. Ray was determined to take these; he was a born fighter who was determined to keep living life as fully as possible, even in the face of death. His first debulk gave him the opportunity to embrace every experience he could; together we travelled the length and breadth of Britain – taking in the beauty of the countryside, culture, history, good food, and most importantly, precious time together. Even when Ray’s mental condition deteriorated as a result of the tumour and the treatment, he never lost his warmth, his humour and his spark. He was able to meet Ed China from Wheeler Dealers, visit the Manchester United football team, and pilot a helicopter and a tiger moth. Everything he did, he did with determination, guts and an enduring smile.
A second debulk was attempted in September 2014, but unfortunately due to the chemotherapy his immune system was weakened and he developed complications. He came home a month later to be cared for by family, and passed away on the 30th of November, at home in my arms as he had wanted. He had enjoyed 25 months since his diagnosis, and he made every moment of them count.
Cruelly, this is not the first time I have watched someone die from this terrible disease. My brother Kevin passed away 12 years ago just a few days after receiving the exact same diagnosis. This page is therefore also a tribute to him; another kind, strong, handsome man who has been unfairly taken away.
About The Ray Smith Fund
If £10,000 is raised, then The Brain Tumour Charity will allow for the donors to nominate the area of research that the funds will go towards We have decided that the money raised will go into High Grade Brain Tumour Research and hopefully find a cure. It is my hope that every penny raised through this page will go towards making sure that in the future, nobody has to suffer from High Grade Glioblastoma, or watch their loved ones suffer through it. Ray and Kevin would both be so proud to think that they were helping to raise money for such an important cause.
I too am proud to be a part of this. Ray fought to the very end to make a difference – to himself and to the people he loved around him – every single day. He showed determination, strength and love, but those qualities do not need to end with him. In his honour, I hope that we can all show determination, strength and love – to remember him and make a difference to the lives of thousands of people in the future. I hope that the money raised will one day bring a cure to this devastating illness. Thank you for any contribution you can make.