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Belfast Live
Belfast Live
Conor Coyle

Co Tyrone man opens up about mum's shock brain tumour diagnosis

A Co Tyrone native will take on the Dublin Marathon next weekend in memory of his mum who died from a brain tumour.

Seamus McAteer, 46, originally from Strabane, will run the 26.2 mile course on Sunday 30 October to raise money for the charity Brain Tumour Research. It comes after his mum, Anne McAteer, 75, died from a brain tumour in August 2018.

Seamus, a postman who now lives in Ballymoney, first realised something was wrong with his mum in May 2018 when he returned home following a knee operation in hospital.

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“Mum was staggering all over the place as if she was drunk, but she hadn’t been drinking,” Seamus said.

“Then a few days later, she asked me when my operation was, but I had already had it.

“I took her to the doctor; when he asked Mum what year it was, she didn’t have a clue.”

An MRI scan at Altnagelvin Area Hospital in Derry revealed the heartbreaking news for Anne and her family.

“It revealed that she had a brain tumour the size of a tennis ball, but mum didn’t have a clue what was going on. She had no idea that she had a brain tumour.

“The doctors said there was nothing they could do and there would be no way back for mum.

“It was really harsh because, before this, mum had been very fit, and she didn’t have any health issues.”

Anne remained in hospital until 5 August 2018, where she died peacefully with her loving family by her side.

“She only had four months, it all happened so quickly. It is such a devastating disease,” her son said..

Seamus will now run the Dublin Marathon to raise money for the brain tumour charity.

“I want to give something back and I think Mum would be as proud as punch,” he added.

“The government should be doing a lot more to fund research into brain tumours and more support is needed. I’ve seen what it did to my mum, and I don’t want other families to go through the same.”

Matthew Price, community development manager at Brain Tumour Research said: “We’re really grateful to Seamus for running the Dublin Marathon for us, and we wish him the best of luck.

“He is raising vital money which will progress our research into brain tumours which will improve the outcome for patients like Anne who are forced to fight this awful disease.”


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