A BRADORD father who was diagnosed with a brain tumour after passing out at the wheel of his van is supporting a charity petition for greater investment to help more people survive the devastating condition.

Gary Fordham, 43, from Bradford, was driving along the M6 motorway on New Year’s Eve in 2018 when he suffered a seizure and passed out

His 11-year-old son, Hayden, and dog Buster were also in the van, but thankfully everyone survived. Gary was subsequently diagnosed with a brain tumour the size of a golf ball.

His tumour was removed during a 10-hour ‘awake craniotomy’ operation – where the patient remains awake throughout the majority of the procedure – in April 2019.

However, he developed an infection and underwent a second operation one month later, where part of his skull had to be removed.

In June 2020, Gary was told that his tumour had returned and he is currently awaiting surgery to remove it, as well as having a titanium plate fitted to replace his missing skull.

Due to COVID-19 and the risk of infection, the operation has been postponed until summer 2021.

In December 2020, Gary and his son Hayden launched an appeal to find the motorists who stopped to help them when Gary had a seizure and crashed on the M6.

A fundraising page set up by Hayden to coincide with their appeal raised more than £7,000 for Brain Tumour Research.

Gary is now supporting the charity again, by asking people to sign its petition to increase the national investment into brain tumour research to £35 million a year.

The charity says the extra money will bring parity of funding with other cancers such as leukaemia, breast and prostate. Historically, just 1 per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to brain tumours.

Gary said: “In spite of the challenges, I do my best to try to keep upbeat and positive, as I realise many other brain tumour patients have it worse.

"That’s why I’m backing Brain Tumour Research’s petition for more funding into this terrible disease. I urge as many people as possible to sign the petition and help make a difference to the thousands of people diagnosed with brain tumours every year.”

The charity is aiming to get 100,000 signatures by March, which is national Brain Tumour Awareness Month.

To sign the petition visit braintumourresearch.org/campaigning/brain-tumour-research-petition