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A DAD who complained of having a hangover despite not drinking alcohol has been diagnosed with a brain tumour the size of a satsuma.
Richard Walker said the diagnosis – which he received on his birthday -left him “sad, angry and frustrated”.
The brave dad-of-two is now recording his “cancer journey” on Instagram to raise awareness of brain tumours, which kills more children and adults under 40 than any other cancer, according to Birmingham Live.
Richard was diagnosed with a Stage 4 glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) tumour on New Year’s Eve, which is the same day he turned 51 and celebrated his ninth wedding anniversary with wife Lucy, 44.
The businessman began getting symptoms back in September 2021 when he started experiencing severe pain at the back of his head, which would last for days and get worse over time.
“I woke up feeling like I had been ‘on the pop’- which I hadn’t,” said Richard, who runs Weldmax UK in Stourport-on-Severn.
“I could see red and green lights in the corner of my right eye and remember a friend telling me about something similar they experienced whilst they were having a stroke and I thought that was happening to me.”
His symptoms got so bad that one day he lost peripheral vision while driving and had to pull over and seek help.
He was able to call his wife Lucy, who then took him to A&E at Alexandra Hospital in Redditch where he was diagnosed with cancer.
Three CT scans and two MRIs later and a transfer to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) revealed that Richard had a tumour the size of a satsuma that had latched onto his optic nerve “like a millipede” making the tumour inoperable.
He underwent a six-week course of radiotherapy and is spending his remaining days fundraising for Wear A Hat Day and aims to collect £2,740 – the cost of a day of research at one of the charity’s Centre of Excellence.
Richard said the diagnosis has been a serious blow for his family.
“Together Lucy and I have told the kids over time,” he said.
“Max is eight and his school has been very supportive.
“We bought him a book which is called ‘someone I love has cancer’ and that’s been a great tool to help him understand what’s happening to me.
“Evie is 16 and wants to be a doctor and has a nurturing personality and just wants to help me.
“I’ve felt, sad, angry and frustrated, especially as I can no longer drive. Reading the statistics about brain tumours is the fuel to my fight.”
He added: “I feel so lucky when I wake up in the morning.
“I decided to document my brain tumour journey on Instagram as a way of offloading my thoughts and as a place for people to see for themselves.
“Lots of people ask how I am and this was an easy way of answering.”
Wear A Hat Date is in its 13th year and has so far raised more than £2m for Brain Tumour Research.
To donate to Richard’s JustGiving fundraiser, click here.