THE mum of two children who grew up without their dad after he died from a brain tumour at just 35 is to mark the 20th anniversary of his death with a series of fundraisers. 

Joanne Ainslie and family are hoping to raise £10,000 in memory of Craig to fund potential life-saving treatment for other brain tumour patients.

The 57-year-old from Lymington and the rest of The Ainslie Crew are to walk the Yorkshire Three Peaks in May, following a themed ParkRun, pottery and prosecco evening and other fundraisers. 

Bournemouth Echo: Joanne hosted a prosecco and pottery evening in February 2024

Joanne said: “It's taken me this long to feel ready to do something in his memory and as a family we have lots planned, leading up to The Three Peaks Challenge in May.

"At the time it was a case of surviving with two young children. They’ve been deeply affected by this disease. My children have grown up without a dad and no or very little memory of him."

Bournemouth Echo: The Ainslie family

Holly and Alex were aged just six and four when they lost their dad back in November 2003. The family were living in France when Craig was diagnosed with an inoperable oligodendroglioma.

Chemotherapy had no effect on Craig’s tumour and he developed complications during radiotherapy. Exhausting all treatment options, the family looked at clinical trials abroad, however Craig did not meet the criteria.

Joanne, who was among campaigners who gathered in Westminster as a petition calling for increased Government funding was handed in to 10 Downing Street, added: “During the last six months of his life, everything happened rapidly. He began to have seizures where he struggled to find his words. The tumour forced him to communicate through cards with words and phrases written on them. He lost mobility on one side. One day his breathing was laboured and he was generally poorly. Eventually the doctor told us to enjoy the time we had.”

Bournemouth Echo: Daughter Holly and mum Joanne outside Westminster during petition hand on January 2024

Joanne is sharing her family's story during Brain Tumour Awareness Month, which takes place each March, culminating in Wear A Hat Day. 

Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to brain tumours since records began in 2002.

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Bournemouth Echo: Jo and Craig on their wedding day