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Mr and Mrs Acton on their wedding day in 2018

Thousands raised to help brave Bradley fight inoperable brain tumour

An HS2 worker estimates £50,000 has been raised over the past few months to shrink his inoperable brain tumour.

Bradley Acton, 34, from Kingston-upon-Thames was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme in December last year after a seizure at work.

He and his wife Laura, 30, had just discovered they were expecting their first child.

Family and friends have raised an estimated £50,000 for Avastin, an intravenous cancer drug unavailable on the NHS.

Bradley, a Construction Worker at J Murphy and Sons said: “The response was phenomenal.”

His wife, a geography teacher at Rutlish School, Merton, added, “We’ve been so lucky, it’s amazing.”

The daughter of Laura’s cousin, seven-year-old Ava, ran a 3.6 km mini-marathon in Greenwich in March this year, raising £12,414.

Her younger sister Tilly came along to support.

Ava in Greenwich for the mini-marathon.
TINY BUT MIGHTY: Ava in Greenwich for the mini-marathon. Credit Bradley and Laura Acton
Bradley with Ava (left) and her younger sister Tilly (right) before the mini-marathon.
“THEY’VE DONE THIS FOR ME”: Bradley with Ava (left) and her younger sister Tilly (right) before the mini-marathon Credit Bradley and Laura Acton

Their gym, F45 Training Kingston, set up a JustGiving page with a £40,000 target and have so far raised £22,037 despite the lockdown slowing fundraising efforts.

Fiona Crossley who owns the gym with her husband Jim, said: “We are not just a gym, we’re a community.”

The couple met in 2005, got married in 2018, and their daughter Rosa was born in May this year.

They plan to teach their daughter about persevering though life and agree this experience has made the wedding vows feel more real.

Laura said: “I think lots of laughter- that was our key to stay positive and remember we’ve got so much to be grateful for.”

The happy couple on their wedding day in 2018.
TO LOVE AND TO CHERISH: The happy couple on their wedding day in 2018. Credit Bradley and Laura Acton
Baby Rosa peacefully sleeping in her father's arms.
ADORABLE: Baby Rosa peacefully sleeping in her father’s arms. Credit Bradley and Laura Acton

The couple asked not to be told the prognosis.

The spreading of the tumour around the brain made it inoperable due to the risk of surgical brain damage.

Avastin- chemical name bevacizumab- slows tumour growth, costing around £9,000 per six-week cycle.

It was authorised in the EU in 2005, but in 2014 the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use decided it was not sufficiently effective alongside radiotherapy in treating glioblastomas.

Subsequently, Bradley and many others opt for private healthcare to access it.

Bradley’s quality of life has since improved, having largely regained control over the left side of his body with the help of chemotherapy and physiotherapy.

The couple praised the NHS, describing how an ambulance took him to the hospital for radiotherapy sessions, and believe it would be helpful if Avastin was available on the NHS.

Laura said: “I cannot imagine how it must feel to either be the person diagnosed with cancer or the wife, or the mother, or the friend, and know there’s something that could help but you can’t do it because you can’t afford it.”

Bradley added: “I was at crossroads- I didn’t want to use up all of our savings and end up having to leave my wife with a newborn and no savings.

“With the fundraising, it’s alleviated the stress and pressure of decision-making.

“My employer has been fantastic and left the door open for me.”

Laura was given a reduced timetable from December 2019 to support her husband, and is currently on a year of maternity leave.

Laura said: “There’s no other way to do it is there? We’re a team, it’s what we do, I will always support him.”

To donate to Bradley’s JustGiving page, click here.

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