Widow of Chesterfield brain tumour victim fights to raise awareness of the disease

The widow of a Chesterfield police officer who died of a brain tumour has met with scientists who are working to find a cure for the disease.

Stuart Parker was diagnosed with the aggressive and incurable form of the disease in December 2017.

He died less than a year later at the age of 54.

Despite her devastating loss, his wife Sam Parker has pledged to continue to fight to raise awareness of the disease which, despite being the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under the age of 40, has historically received just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research.

Stuart, who had three children and two grandchildren, had served the community for nearly 30 years and was diagnosed shortly before he was due to retire.

He underwent surgery and, later, his family raised funds to allow him to undergo treatment which is only available privately.

Sam said: “The financial implications of Stuart’s illness were huge. Our income halved when I gave up my career in teaching to care for him and we cashed in our life insurances and downsized our house.

“We had to fundraise constantly to pay for treatment so Stuart could have a good quality of life and, at times, it felt as if we were selling a bit of ourselves to get by.

“I feel that we owe it to Stuart to do all we can to raise awareness in order to help ensure others don’t endure the pain and helplessness we experience.”

Sam was accompanied by Lee Rowley, MP for North East Derbyshire, as she was given a tour of the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). Brain Tumour Research funds four labs and is campaigning for the government and larger cancer charities to invest more nationally. Visit www.braintumourresearch.org