“I hope our fundraising will help young cancer patients like Courtney in the future”

In memory of her late daughter Courtney, who sadly died of a brain tumour in 2022, Kim decided to fundraise for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

Courtney and her family sat around a table, smiling at the camera
Courtney (far right) with her family on holiday

Courtney was just 18 when she diagnosed with a brain tumour. She received treatment at The Royal Marsden, but unfortunately, 11 months after being diagnosed, the cancer spread to the top of Courtney’s spine and she sadly passed away in December 2022. 

In memory of her daughter, and to say thank you for the treatment she received, Kim decided to raise money for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

“Courtney was an amazing person. Everyone who knew her remembered her. She really lit up a room.”

“In December 2021 when she was 18 years old, she started getting severe headaches. She had previously had migraines, but this was worse and no medication was helping. After around a week, I insisted that she go to the doctor – she was in so much pain. They told us that she needed to have an eye test.”

Courtney dressed in a black tracksuit, smiling

“We went straight away and they could see a shadow. She was referred to see an eye specialist, who said she should have an MRI scan. We later received a phone call asking us to come in to discuss the results.”

“We were told it was a small growth on the brain, around the size of a pea, which was putting pressure on her brain. Courtney was taken by ambulance to another hospital for an operation to redirect fluid in her brain and relieve pressure that had built up. After this, her headaches went away and we were told to come back for a check-up in a couple of months.”

“However, Courtney’s eyes then started to play up. She was also experiencing a strange sensation all down the left side of her body, like pins and needles. After another MRI, it was discovered that she actually had quite an aggressive tumour which was growing. That’s when we were referred to The Royal Marsden.”

Coming to The Royal Marsden

“Courtney was treated in the Teenage and Young Adult Unit under the care of Dr Henry Mandeville.”

“We were told that she would need radiotherapy and chemotherapy. I think Courtney, my husband and I were just feeling numb at this point. By the time we came to The Royal Marsden we knew it was serious, but we just couldn’t believe it. The team told us they would do their best to give Courtney as long as possible and to keep her comfortable throughout. I knew I needed to be strong for her.”

I couldn’t have asked for a better hospital than The Royal Marsden

“The staff were so amazing – all the nurses knew Courtney and were just fantastic. She was in a wheelchair from quite early on as she had weakness in her left side which would cause her to lose her balance, and they dealt with this incredibly too."

"Karen Powell (Teenage and Young Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist) in particular was so good to us. She was always honest with Courtney about what was happening, but extremely kind in the way she did this. I couldn’t have asked for a better hospital than The Royal Marsden.”

After months of treatment, unfortunately the cancer had spread to the top of Courtney’s spine and she began to deteriorate. She was later admitted to intensive care, before passing away in a hospice in December 2022.

Fundraising for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity

“Firstly, to mark what would have been Courtney’s 20th birthday, we organised a Monopoly walk around London in 2023 to raise money for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. We had over 100 people take part and the atmosphere was absolutely incredible.”

“We then organised a Race Night in July 2023, which raised over £5,000. We hope to continue holding this event regularly.”

“I am also doing a skydive for the Charity in May 2024. The idea of it is really scary, but I motivate myself by thinking, if Courtney went through what she did, I can definitely do this challenge. I am also planning a fundraising football match, as Courtney loved to play football. 

Courtney outside, wearing a white dress, smiling

“Time was against us to be able to do anything for Courtney, but I hope that our fundraising for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity will help young cancer patients like her in the future.” 

So far, Kim has raised over £18,000 for Brain Tumour Research at The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. Here is her JustGiving page in memory of Courtney.

Thanks to supporters like her, we can continue to fund The Royal Marsden’s vital research.

Feeling inspired? 

Take on your own fundraising event and help raise money for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

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