Goalkeeper with incurable brain tumour overwhelmed by fundraiser response
- Credit: Richard Brooks
When a fit and healthy 34-year-old went to sleep one night at the end of last year - he never thought he would be facing up to not living beyond his 40s.
But after suffering a seizure and falling out of bed, subsequent tests led to Daniel Brooks receiving the news that he had an incurable brain tumour.
Dan, who is from Baldock and now lives in Steeple Morden, had half of the cancerous tumour taken out in an operation - but the remainder couldn't be removed as it would lead to paralysis or worse.
He is now facing years of treatment - six weeks of radiotherapy and three years of chemotherapy - to prolong his life for potentially up to 15 years, but only 50 per cent of patients survive to that point. At this stage, it is not known how long Dan has.
He told this newspaper: "I remember waking up and my body was shaking uncontrollably - it was so violent that it threw me out of bed and then I passed out.
"It's all moved quickly since then. My radiotherapy is starting on February 14 - happy Valentine's Day to me!
"I am not meant to see out my 40s - which is difficult to hear, you never want to think of yourself as on a time limit.
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"Originally when I was told there was a tumour and it was cancer, it was a complete shock. Something is growing inside your head.
"I have always been a positive person so when I got through the initial shock, I got myself together and thought 'let's do this'."
Dan said staff, including his surgeon at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, where he is receiving treatment and which he "now knows like the back of his hand", have been amazing.
Dan's brother Richard, who lives in Baldock, started a fundraising page in the hope of raising £9,000 for Dan to be able to pay his rent over the next year - as he is now unable to return to work as a DHL delivery driver for the foreseeable future - and to have a holiday. The page has now amassed more than £15,000.
Dan said: "Richard told me he wanted to start a fundraising page - and I said OK, but it was difficult as I have never asked for help.
"I have lived by myself since I was 15 and I don't know how to 'deal' with help. When people want to help me I tend to struggle with it - seeing the response I am a bit overwhelmed, I am working on getting my head around it. It is incredible that people have donated as much as they have.
"I would've been in the middle of my treatment, with the stress of not being able to afford my home anymore. So for that to be covered is such a relief."
"I have always wanted to go somewhere exotic on holiday - The Bahamas would be a dream. I want to be able to do things on my bucket list while I am still healthy enough.
Dan has been the goalkeeper of Steeple Morden FC for the last eight to 10 years - the club have tweeted their support for their teammate saying: "To our wonderful goalkeeper and dear friend Dan. We are behind you all the way mate."
Dan said: "The club have been so supportive, and it's not just my club - teams we play against, like Barrington, Harston and Haslingfield, have seen the club Twitter feed and donated too.
"We're rivals in the game, but this is bigger than that - their support is amazing."
Big brother Richard said: "Dan seeing a few friends and going for walks - but can't do anything strenuous at this stage, it's just about waiting for his treatment to start shortly.
"The radiotherapy will wipe him out but he is having every treatment the doctors suggest to live as long as he can.
"I don't know if he's got two years or 12 years left so it is hard, and our mum and dad died when we were younger. He's very shocked that people have come forward to donate and help him out.
"His rent is covered and hopefully he can go back to work in May 2023, I wanted him to not have the worry of his housing and living costs and to hopefully have a nice holiday while he still can.
"We want to make sure we get everything sorted whether it's the best or the worst case scenario."
To view the fundraising page, go to www.gofundme.com/f/help-dan-with-his-living-costs.