A COUPLE whose son died of a brain tumour have been asked to be part of a nationwide awareness-raising campaign.
Deborah and Shaun Lee’s son Ryan died last year and they have been invited to be case study parents in a £500,000 campaign called Headsmart to raise awareness of symptoms, so brain tumours can be detected quicker.
Deborah, who lives in Eastwood Road, Kimberley, said: “It’s been hard talking about Ryan in all the media interviews we’ve had to do but we’re really pleased to be involved in it all. We think it’s hugely important.”
The campaign – launched by Ryan’s consultant in Nottingham David Walker – is aimed at educating parents and teachers as well as doctors and nurses about the signs to look out for.
When Ryan started complaining of tiredness and mis-behaving at school, but his parents and teachers all put it down to typical teenage behaviour.
“It wasn’t anybody’s fault it’s just a lack of awareness,” Deborah said. “Teachers just saw him as being a naughty disruptive teenager in class and we put it down to him growing up.”
Ryan had five tumours, one of which was on the stem of his brain and could not be operated on.
He fell ill while he was on holiday with his parents and within just a few months he could not walk, talk or even eat.
Deborah has since launched the Ryan Lee Trust Fund to raise money for specialist equipment so patients can live comfortably in their own home when they are ill.
She raised £5,000 at a recent charity event at Kimberley Leisure Centre to enable the trust to become a registered charity.
A new restaurant in Kimberley, Sinatras, has agreed to have a charity night every few weeks to raise money for the fund.
The first one is next Tuesday, June 21, and will be a pizza night for Ryan’s schoolfriends. The teenagers will pay £12 per head and £5 will go towards the trust.
Deborah said: “I was in there a few weeks ago and I just thought I’d be cheeky and ask.
“It’s good for the trust because it will build money quickly and it’s good for the restaurant owners because its on a quiet night when they’re not usually busy.”