Brain tumour patient inspires family fun day in Lewes

Morris dancers, music and a charity rugby match are all set to feature in a fundraising family fun day, inspired by a brain tumour patient from East Sussex

A couple from Lewes co-ordinated a programme of events in aid of Brain Tumour Research.

Mike and Shelley Motley organised Morris dancers, music and a charity rugby match in the the town’s Stanley Turner Ground on Saturday, April 30.

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Planned activities also included a rodeo donated by Brighton Bouncy Castles, a bouncy castle donated by Simon at Bounce Hire Lewes, Pillywiggin Face Painting and a Mrs Brown lookalike.

The event has been inspired by Mike and Shelley’s close friend, Linda Goode, who discovered she had a brain tumour in October 2021 after experiencing problems with her speech and was diagnosed with a grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) two months later.

There was also a tombola with prizes donated by local pubs and breweries – including the Beak Brewery, Gun Brewery, Only With Love Brewery, the Elephant and Castle, The Black Horse Lewes and The Brewers Arms – as well as refreshments provided by an Indulgent Ice Cream van, barbeque, cake stall and a licensed bar with beer donated by Harvey’s Brewery.

The event has been inspired by Mike and Shelley’s close friend, Linda Goode, who discovered she had a brain tumour in October 2021 after experiencing problems with her speech and was diagnosed with a grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) two months later.

The mother-of-three from Lewes, who is a freelance PE teacher and advisor at the town’s Priory School, underwent a debulking surgery in November and is just preparing to start her second round of chemotherapy having recently completed a six-week course of chemo and radiotherapy.

Mike’s dad, David, also had a brain tumour, which was discovered in 1984 as part of investigations for an unrelated condition and diagnosed as a meningioma. He underwent a debulking surgery, which resulted in the loss of use in his right eye and a stroke and had radiotherapy in 2011 after scans detected growth, but he eventually succumbed to it in September 2013 at the age of 63.

Planned activities also included a rodeo donated by Brighton Bouncy Castles, a bouncy castle donated by Simon at Bounce Hire Lewes, Pillywiggin Face Painting and a Mrs Brown lookalike.

Shelley, who worked as Linda’s nanny for more than 10 years and is godmother to her daughter, Mia, said: “We’re like family. Watching what they’re all going through is just horrendous but Linda’s positive attitude is inspirational.

“The family fun day was Mike’s idea. He’s a coach at the Lewes Rugby Club and it’s the perfect venue for it, plus Linda played for the women’s team there so it seemed fitting. The club is part of all our lives; my dad Roger Meyer is a vice president, our nine-year-old son Arthur plays there, Linda’s son Ben also played there and her husband Phil used to be a coach.”

She added: “My youngest daughter started going to nursery more regularly and organising this event with the little bit of free time I had gave me a good focus and allowed me to feel like I was doing something positive for Linda and her lovely family.

“I’ve never organised anything like this before so it’s nerve-wracking but also exciting. I’m really looking forward to a successful, fun-filled day which will hopefully raise a good amount of money to help fund vital research into this horrible, indiscriminate disease that Linda and others we know are suffering from.”

Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer yet historically just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this disease.

Charlie Allsebrook, community development manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “The fact that Linda is able to maintain such a positive attitude in spite of everything she’s going through is a real testament to her character. She’s inspired her sons, Ben and Jonah, to run separate marathons for us later this month, for which they’ve already raised more than £12,000, and now she’s inspired her friends to organise this charity rugby match and family fun day, which sounds like it’s going to be a lot of fun. We’re grateful for their support and wish them all every success.”

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