Hi, I am Chandos but most people know me as Chandy. I am a previous Social work student from Chichester University - in my first year at Chichester I was diagnosed with a re-growth of a brain tumour that I like to call Timmy.
At the time it came as a shock and I began planning for every eventuality – because I didn’t know what tomorrow was going to bring. However, like most things life has been filled with ups and downs. But when you add a brain tumour to the mix, life can present even more challenges like – not being able to drive. Despite this, things are beginning to fall into place.
While at university I set up a community interest company, following my diagnosis with a close friend. Our aim is to promote inclusion and social engagement among youth in the United Kingdom. Since finishing uni, my focus has been to develop and raise awareness of issues facing young people – that together we can overcome. For example, brain tumours remain the biggest cancer killer of those under 40. A harsh reality that affects hundreds each year.
How can this be such a harsh truth when we live in a world with modern technologies and developments in research being achieved every day? Yet so many young people and adults suffer and live with the severe impact of having a brain tumour, whilst also dealing with side-effects and other health conditions. When I received my diagnosis as a child, I would not have thought I could have achieved half the things I have done. I mean not every day is easy, and sometimes it can feel like I take two steps back for every step forward - but, in all honestly, it’s the work of the Brain Tumour Charity that means people can receive a diagnosis quicker, get better support and overcome barriers easier. However, this won’t happen overnight; not without your help.
Right this second, life expectancy of those with a brain tumour is on average 20 years less than someone without – the highest of any cancer. I feel extremely lucky that I am still alive and able to live a life that I want, do the things I love doing. But having a brain tumour and physical disabilities is not glamourous – I have met and lost friends along the way due to the condition and sometimes I get annoyed by not being able to do the simplest things. However, by fundraising & helping raise research I know a cure can be found but it definitely will take time and invest -both of which, will take you and I giving up spare time to push MP’s and others to think more about brain tumours.
They predict that at least 102,000 children and adults are living with a brain tumour in the UK today. Since finishing uni I have been lucky enough to attend various meetings in London and around the UK to learn about the impact of disability, mental health and cancer on those directly affected by life changing diagnosis’.
At the moment, IFightFor has loads of project ideas underway including our submission to the Aviva Community fund competition- to run a 2-month project of workshops and sessions in Bournemouth that value inclusivity. If we are successful in getting a grant through the competition it will mean that we can support young people to reach personal goals and obtain volunteering accreditation alongside experts in music and the arts.
Alongside this I am currently training to run the London marathon in 2018 in aid of the Lewis Moody Foundation who raise funds for The Brain Tumour Charity. I am also holding a night of music and fundraising at the Cereal Killer Café on Monday 27th November. The event will consist of live music from up and coming performers, who have recently take April into following their passion for music. There will also b e a raffle with the opportunity to win signed photos from celebrities such as Toff from Made in Chelsea and Karl Pilkington from An Idiot Abroad. Other raffle prize donations include two adult weekend tickets to Bournemouth 7s – the world’s largest sport and music festival. The event has also been sponsored by Drink Zeo, who have donated a range of drinks for each guest who attends. All this while you enjoy a cereal cocktail! So, if that’s not enough I don’t know what is! Tickets are priced from £24 - which includes a donation to the charity, after event costs have been accounted for. If this seems like your type of event, then please click here to find out more and buy your ticket today!
With your help we can defeat brain tumours - thank you!