Blog: Nathan and Hailey’s Story

When his fiancée Hailey was four months pregnant with their second child, Nathan was diagnosed with a glioblastoma.

Instead of it being an exciting time looking forward to a new baby, they both had to come to terms with the devastating news.

For as we saw in the Casualty brain tumour storyline which we advised on, when nurse Robyn finds out boyfriend Glen has a glioblastoma, it is an emotional bombshell for partners, too; as they learn how best to support each other.

Over 10 months, Nathan suffered low moods, headaches, sickness and had a funny taste in his mouth.

At one point, he saw seven doctors in six weeks. He was told he was depressed.

Finally, he was diagnosed after an optician found a build-up of pressure behind his eyes. That evening, he was sent to hospital and scans revealed he had a brain tumour.

After surgery in September 2014 when they removed as much of the tumour as they could, came the anxious wait for biopsy results.

Hailey said,“We'd been told it was most likely a high grade tumour and were hoping for grade 3. Then I heard the word I'd been dreading, 'glioblastoma.'

“I was hysterical and it was Nathan who was the calm, positive one. He kept me going at first."

But when he was going through radio/chemotherapy every day for six weeks, it was Hailey who lifted his spirits.

Nathan, whose tumour has so far shown no growth, said; “We take it in turns to be positive for each other. You get just get on with what you're dealt with in life, don't you? Focusing on the kids and raising money for the charity keeps us positive, too."

The couple, who have Grace, four, and Lukas, 17 months, took part in last year's Twilight Walk in Chester.

Sadly, their friend, Craig, who also had a glioblastoma and planned to walk with them, passed away the evening before.

Now Nathan and Hailey are doing a sponsored skydive on September 24 to mark the first anniversary of Craig's death and will be walking with us again in Chester on October 9 to raise money for our mission to defeat brain tumours.