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Monday, 28 July 2014

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'Miracle survivor' Cumbrian solicitor becomes charity ambassador

A solicitor who fought a rare brain tumour which killed almost everyone else who contracted it has been named an ambassador for a national charity.

Tim Frost photo
Tim Frost

Tim Frost’s tumour was so rare there have only been about 50 reported cases in the world, and it took doctors almost three weeks to diagnose it.

Despite a prognosis that was so poor the 52-year-old began planning his funeral, he beat the odds and has vowed to put his experience to good use.

Mr Frost, who lives in Wigton but has offices in Carlisle, Workington and Whitehaven, said he was first aware there was something wrong while on holiday.

“I’d had some really bad headaches while in Croatia,” he said. “I thought it was too much sun. I put a cold pack on for a few days and it eased.

“I came back from holiday and after a few days the headaches started again. Eventually, after the tenacity of my GP, I went to hospital for a CT scan and they found the tumour.”

The tumour was on his right frontal lobe, pushing against his brain and causing the headaches.

Mr Frost underwent an operation, and was told the tumour was malignant and very fast-growing.

He continued: “I was in complete and utter shock – I just thought it was a bit of stress or something. It was certainly a real eye-opener.”

After three weeks of tests, doctors finally diagnosed the tumour as granular cell astrocytoma, an extremely rare type.

Mr Frost said he immediately looked on the internet for information about this tumour, and the results were horrifying.

“I found there were 49 previous cases, all in America – and they all died,”he said.

“I began doing all those things you have to do before you die: I created a living will, so my partner did not have to worry about that if he didn’t want to.

“I was also planning our civil partnership at the same time as planning my funeral.”

Mr Frost continued: “Whatever happened, there was going to be a celebration in the future: I just didn’t know if it would be a celebration of my life, or me and my partner celebrating our day together.”

After intensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy, Mr Frost went into remission and is proud to say his most recent scans are still clear.

“I’ve beaten the odds in one respect,” he admitted. “In the words of my oncologist, I’m a bit of a miracle.”

Mr Frost has now agreed to step up and be an ambassador for the Brain Tumour Charity in Cumbria, helping with fundraising but also with raising awareness.

The charity is relaunching next month following a merger of The Brain Tumour Charity and Brain Tumour UK, to celebrate Brain Tumour Awareness Month.

He has bigger plans than even that of the charity though, as Mr Frost is hoping to set up a helpline in the future, offering advice to people who have been recently diagnosed or are struggling.

The solicitor is currently helping to promote Street Spice, a world spice festival taking place in Newcastle from Thursday to Sunday, which will raise money for the charity. For information visit streetspice.co.uk

The Brain Tumour Charity is asking people to buy a bandana to wear on Friday, March 1, from www.thebraintumourcharity.org/bandanas. Alternatively, people can wear their own and make a donation to the charity.

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