Buckingham families wearing hats for a good cause

Brain Tumour Research's Wear a Hat Day - pictured is Emma Shudell with her children Niamh and Finley and model and brain tumour survivor Caprice
Brain Tumour Research's Wear a Hat Day - pictured is Emma Shudell with her children Niamh and Finley and model and brain tumour survivor Caprice

Two families, who both live on the Badger’s Estate in Buckingham and have been affected by brain tumours, have helped to launch a national fundraising campaign to find a cure for the disease.

Emma Shudell and Jayne Hilsdon are working with Milton Keynes based charity Brain Tumour Research to support this year’s Wear A Hat Day which takes place later this month.

Caprice with Jayne and Tim Hilsdon at the Wear a Hat Day launch event in aid of Brain Tumour Research

Caprice with Jayne and Tim Hilsdon at the Wear a Hat Day launch event in aid of Brain Tumour Research

Emma was diagnosed with a brain tumour almost a year ago while Jayne and Tim attended because their 26-year-old son Oli has the condition.

Emma, 40, underwent an awake craniotomy at the John Radcliffe Hospital in December 2017 because surgeons only managed to remove a small amount of the tumour, although enough for a biopsy.

She has been told she has a slow-growing astrocytoma brain tumour and is on three-monthly scans.

Meanwhile Oli, who had surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy after he was diagnosed with an aggressive and incurable brain tumour in 2014, for which he had surgery, chemotherapy, radiotheraphy and immunotherapy treatment.

Oli was recently given the sad news that his tumour had returned.

He underwent further surgery last month and is now undergoing chemotherapy whilst trying to raise £230,000 for a cancer vaccine not available through the NHS.

The families met businesswoman and model Caprice Bourret at the Wear A Hat Day campaign launch on March 3.

Caprice was herself diagnosed with a tumour a year ago.

She said: “I have been so touched by Emma and Oli’s stories and the incredible work their families are doing fundraising for Brain Tumour Research.

“It is a sad fact that brain tumours affect so many people and that this devastating disease is indiscriminate and can affect anyone at any age – I never even used to get headaches before I was diagnosed.

“I am proud to be working with Emma and Jayne and their families and so many others to support Wear A Hat Day.

“I want everyone to get involved!

“It’s such a fun event and anyone can take part.

“Let’s all put our hats on and do something positive for Oli and Emma and support the fantastic research going on right now.

“I am determined to try to make a difference for the 16,000 people diagnosed with a brain tumour each year.”

Speaking about the impact of the condition Emma said: “I am literally only now just starting to accept that I have a brain tumour.

“I thought it would be a case of “let’s get it out and then you can get on with your life!”

“Now I have to learn to live with having a brain tumour and the effects it has on me, which range from exhaustion to balance issues, as well as, on bad days, difficulties with communication and memory.”

Jayne said: “Like Emma and her family, we are dedicated to continuing to raise awareness of brain tumours and are really proud of the thousands Oli has raised so far for Brain Tumour Research.

“We have had such wonderful support from people in and around Buckingham and I hope they will once again join us by getting involved in Wear A Hat Day.”