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James’ Story

Age 12 James had been an A* student at a grammar school and had dreams of becoming an architect.  following persistent visits to A&E after struggling to swallow and with painful headaches James was diagnosed with antibiotics for a suspected diagnosis of glandular fever.

His mum Jane said, “More symptoms kept to popping up and after numerous visits to A&E I told the doctors I wasn’t leaving until they found out what was wrong.” In December 2013, it was discovered that James had an inoperable brain tumour with fluid on his brain.“

To get the diagnosis was just earth-shattering news” said Jane.

James wih his Proton therapy mask

James received successful proton therapy over the course of three months in Oklahoma. High dose of radiation were delivered directly to the brain to reduce the side effects.

James said “As soon as we returned home the first time, I knew that we had to come back one day. Oklahoma has really touched my heart, and I now feel that it’s part of me. I think of Oklahoma  as my second home now.”

Over the years James continued to struggle with short term memory loss and from complications of his illness. His mum Jane said “His life is very different now, he has definitely lost his confidence and doesn’t mix with friends his own age. He just struggles to remember things that people told him five minutes ago, or sometimes he will repeat stories that he’s just told.”


When Joss Searchlight met James he stoically described himself as James mark2. ‘I’m different now, the old James has gone, I’m James mark 2’.

James was determined to help other families affected by a child’s brain tumour and tells of his struggles via our series of ‘It’s Good to Talk’ support films.

After 8 years of struggles James tragically lost his battle against  cancer in September 2022, age 20.

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Joss Searchlight


A gift of just £10 could help give support to a family who are struggling with a new diagnosis


A gift of  £25 per month could pay for a days pioneering research into rare brain tumours 


A gift of £50 could fund research into devastating brain tumours in a clinical trial 

DIPG brain tumours are currently an incurable and devastating cancer.

DIPG robs a child of their hearing, sight, movement, the ability to swallow and eventually their breathing. 

It’s only with your help that research into this devastating cancer is possible.

Joss Searchlight are funding vital research into the most life-threatening brain tumours. Please be part of our journey.


Along with providing financial grants to help families struggling with the expenses of having a child with cancer we also provide life changing support.

Support Workers who advise, visit and support families with compassion are an essential part of Joss Searchlight.

Family support is in our DNA, as the founding trustees know what an important part compassionate support played in helping them during their son’s illness and after his sad death.

We can’t fund research and we can’t support families without you. 


At Joss Searchlight we totally depend on donations. Donations enable us to fund vital brain tumour research, to find a cure for some of the rarest brain tumours, to campaign for better treatments and support families on their cancer journey when they need it most.

Research organisations need funding stability, they need to know that they have enough money coming in every month to allow them to do their incredibly important work. We need to pledge a certain amount of funding every year to make sure they’re able to do everything they can to find cures and treatment programmes for some of the hardest-to-treat brain tumours.

Children should enjoy their childhood
Not spend their lives fighting cancer

Help us find a cure for rare brain tumours. Give your support today

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