Christopher George Clarke
27.10.87 - 16.01.06
Christopher Clarke a local boy from Bury became ill in May 2005, complaining of headaches whilst on study leave for his AS exams. He was 17 years old at the time. He seemed to have a headache solidly for over two weeks but despite the obvious pain, he attended his AS exams and managed to do well. The cause of his headache was not known at the time.
In June 2005, because of the persistence of the problem, Christopher was seen by a Neuro-Surgeon and a brain scan was arranged. This showed that he had a brain tumour in the right temporal region which was causing pressure on the brain, resulting in his severe headaches. He underwent urgent brain surgery and subsequently it was discovered that the tumour was malignant. Over the course of the next 6 months he went on to have intensive therapy, with two further brain operations, followed swiftly by radiotherapy and chemotherapy. None of these treatments halted the course of his disease significantly.
Throughout Christopher’s short but rapidly progressive illness he maintained a sense of humour and an indefatigable fighting spirit. He died on January 16th 2006 at the age of 18 years.
Background to Research Fund
Towards the end of his life I made a pledge to Christopher to try to help research into this truly frightening disease, which took his life cruelly at such an early age. The plans to initiate a fund were discussed with Chris before he died and he was very keen to try to raise money to enable research in to the causes and treatment of a disease which, though uncommon, strikes down young people like him on a regular basis. This has resulted in the initiation of The Christopher Clarke Cancer Research Fund www.cccrf.co.uk
This initiative has only just begun but with your help, it will grow in to an important fund, enabling new and badly needed research programmes to begin. At present, this disease is incurable in most young people but despite this, the understanding of its cause is very poor and there is little research ongoing. Remember, this was the situation in the 1970’s with testicular cancer, then a killer of young men like Christopher, and now, with the benefit of ground-breaking research, this disease is curable in the vast majority. With research and a bit of luck, this success story could be repeated with brain cancers.
I thought I should add to this sheet as we have now been going for a year; in some ways it seems like a life time and in other ways as if Chris has only just died.