Queen's Park dad with brain tumour doing Walk of Hope for charity
- Credit: Brain Tumour Research
A Queen's Park dad who discovered a brain tumour after seeking help for ‘phantom smells’ is walking to raise £15,000 for charity.
Neil Danziger is taking part in the 13-mile Walk of Hope for Brain Tumour Research (BTR) on September 25 around Hyde Park and Regent’s Park, finishing in Primrose Hill.
The 46-year-old will be joined by childhood friends, all of whom walked with him every day after his 30 radiotherapy sessions.
Neil said he "just couldn’t put his finger on what it was" when symptoms started in December.
He would get light-headed and need to sit down, a sensation that was followed by a strong smell lasting around 10 seconds, which clearly did not exist.
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He sought medical help in January, where a brain tumour was found in his temporal lobe.
Neil, who works in recruitment, said: “I felt as optimistic as I possibly could because it was so small, only 1cm. I’d heard of people having plum or apple-size tumours and I had a pea. So, I thought ‘I have a pea, I can do this’.”
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“It was a shock, I felt surprised but ready for battle – my game face came out,” he added.
Following brain surgery in February Neil’s tumour was identified as a low-grade pilocytic astrocytoma but tests on the surrounding cells showed a mutated gene more commonly found in high-grade diffuse midline gliomas, leading doctors to recommend a more aggressive form of treatment.
Neil, father to Henry, six, and Millie, three, with wife Victoria, has already raised £10,000 in support of the charity’s efforts to find a cure for brain tumours.
He said: “I set myself a goal of reaching £5,000, then £10,000 and now I’m telling myself I want to get £15,000, and I’m going to keep pushing myself as much as possible.
“I hope it’s something that will be life-changing and will help make a difference for everyone going forward who has what I have.
"We need better treatments and more studies into it. What BTR does is amazing in trying to find a way to reduce future caseloads and every penny counts.”
Charlie Allsebrook, community development manager for BTR, said they were "saddened to learn of Neil’s diagnosis".
"We’re extremely grateful for all his support and hope he and his friends enjoy taking part in our Walk of Hope.”
To donate visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/neildanziger