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Football tournament to honour Doncaster mum’s life

Johnathan Crofts and mum Karen
Johnathan Crofts and mum Karen

A Doncaster man has pledged to raise awareness of brain tumours and funds for research in memory of his late mother.

Johnathan Crofts, aged 25, from Balby, Doncaster, lost his mum Karen to a brain tumour in November 2017, just 15 months after she was diagnosed with a glioblastoma – the most aggressive form of brain tumour in adults.

Johnathan will be holding a charity football tournament on Saturday 21st July at Wheatley Hills RUFC to raise funds for The Brain Tumour Charity.

The Brain Tumour Charity is the UK’s largest dedicated brain tumour charity, committed to fighting brain tumours on all fronts through research, awareness and support to save lives and improve quality of life.

Johnathan, a Trainee Surveyor at Pygott and Crone Estate Agents, Lincoln, said:

“Mum was taken ill suddenly and slipped into a coma, while on holiday in Italy, in July 2016.

“I flew out the next day to be by her side.

“A CT scan revealed that she had a mass on her brain and we returned to the UK for emergency surgery.”

Karen underwent brain surgery at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield.

Following an MRI scan the family were given the devastating news that Karen had a glioblastoma – an incurable brain cancer with a life expectancy of 12–15 months.

“We were all heartbroken.

“After surgery mum received chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

“The treatment left her feeling tired and weak.

“We tried to make the most of the time we had left together and to make happy memories.

“I visited mum every day.”

Johnathan added: “I’d got engaged just before mum got sick and after surgery and treatment she was excited to celebrate at our engagement party.

“Me and mum danced the night away and she was like herself again.

“We booked a Mediterranean cruise but mum was too unwell to go.

“So instead we redecorated her house and brought the holiday to her.

“We filled the house with inflatables and a hot tub!”

Karen passed away on November 23rd 2017, a week before her 57th birthday.

“Mum was passionate about The Brain Tumour Charity and wanted to help and support others going through what she did.

“She was always really positive and I want to continue her legacy.

“I hope I will make her as proud of me as I was of her by supporting The Brain Tumour Charity.”

On Saturday 21st July, Johnathan is hosting a 7-a-side football tournament at Wheatley Hills RUFC.

Johnathan said: “I am really looking forward to the football tournament.

“16 teams have signed up to take part and the pitches have a huge capacity for spectators.

“There will be a BBQ, refreshments, a sweet cart, a bouncy castle, children’s face painting and many more activities for the kids.

“There will also be a raffle – prizes include signed football t-shirts, a golf round for the weekend, football tickets, hair & beauty vouchers, supermarket & meal vouchers, and a tattoo voucher and lots more.

“It’s going to be a great day and I am hopeful that the tournament will become an annual event!”

Families, friends and people of all ages are invited to support the teams on the day.

Geraldine Pipping, director of fundraising for The Brain Tumour Charity, said: “We were deeply saddened to hear that Johnathan lost his mother so suddenly to a brain tumour and our thoughts are with him and his family during this difficult time.

“We are incredibly touched and grateful that Johnathan is so committed to continuing his mother’s legacy by supporting The Brain Tumour Charity.”

“We receive no government funding and rely entirely on voluntary donations and gifts in wills, so it’s only thanks to supporters like Johnathan and his family and friends that we can fund ground-breaking research to find a cure for this devastating disease, and that we can progress towards our twin goals of doubling survival and halving the harm caused by brain tumours.

“We are certain the football tournament will be a great day for all the family and a celebration of Karen’s life and we wish Johnathan and all the teams participating the very best – we will be cheering on from the side-lines!”

Donations can be made on the day.

To find out more about brain tumours, their symptoms, and about The Brain Tumour Charity and how they can help, visit: www.thebraintumourcharity.org