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You are not alone

…..and we are doing everthing we can to support you


The diagnosis of a brain tumour will undoubtably be the most difficult crisis your family will ever encounter. 

But why your child? 

In adults, we know that certain lifestyle choices can contribute to the chances of getting cancer. Smoking cigarettes can cause lung cancer and exposure to the sun can cause skin cancer. 

Normally cells in our bodies  reproduce and repair themselves in a controlled way and do not cause us any problems. Sometimes this process can get disrupted and the cells may begin to grow in an uncontrolled way, creating a tumour.

To parents of healthy children it is unimaginable that a child could be so unlucky to get cancer, especially your child.  But it does happen and it’s how you cope with it that is the important thing.  Following diagnosis you are going to face some stressful times, visits to clinics and difficult conversations with family, friends and of course the most frightful of all talks will be with your sick child.

Joss Searchlight has people who can help. Our Support Workers are just a phone call away.


It’s vitally important that you don’t think it’s your fault of that it’s something you’ve done. It’s not.

Most cases of childhood cancer happen because of random genetic mutations in growing cells. The key word being Random. These changes happen randomly, there is no effective way to prevent them and there is no reason why your child has cancer.  By genetic we don’t mean a family history of cancer. Just because your Mum of Grandad had cancer doesn’t mean your child is more likely to get it. 

“As one of the founders of Joss Searchlight I asked the same question – WHY MY CHILD?”, said Nigel Parkes.  “A farmer friend of mine looked me straight in the eye and said ‘Why not you, somebodies child is going to get it, you’ve just been the unlucky one’.  “The words cut through me like a knife, making me angry, sad and desperate all at once. I thought what a callous thing to say. But in hindsight what he said was true – Lightning was going to strike somewhere”.

We have created a difficult conversations toolkit which may help you

Childhood brain tumours are relatively rare.

Childhood brain tumours are thankfully relatively rare.

1500 children are diagnosed with cancer each year in the UK, of these, around 400 children are diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Most of the time symptoms that your child may show that cause you concern will not be due to a brain tumour.

However, it is important to talk to your doctor if you are concerned.

What are the Symptoms of a Childhood brain tumour ?

Symptoms of brain tumours can vary from child to child.

Symptoms can often mimic relatively minor childhood illnesses.

Common symptoms of brain tumours

Taking Your Child to a G.P if you suspect a brain tumour

If your child has one or more of the symptoms listed, or you are concerned, you should take them to see a Doctor as soon as possible.

Explain your worries about the symptoms being a sign of a possible brain tumour.

If your child is exhibiting two or more of the symptoms listed, ask the Doctor for an urgent referral, meaning  your child will be given an appointment with a specialist who can look into the cause of the symptoms.


Help Joss Searchlight find a cure for rare brain tumours and support families today

Together we can find a cure

Danielle's Story

Danielle was only seven years old when she was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Danielle is a confident child and wanted to know all about her illness and to see the pictures.

Danielle has a twin sister, Laura. Their parents chose to be open and honest with Danielle about her illness so that she could tell her twin sister. The consultant told Danielle that she had a tumour in her head, he showed her the MRI scans told her what it is and what he needed to do. Telling Danielle the truth made her less frightened. Like many children she named her tumour calling it her ‘marble’, this helped her to understand the tumour as an object that could be removed.

Only one question left her parents lost for words, when Danielle asked ‘are they going to taking the tumour away and then I won’t be alive any more?’

Danielle with Gary Barlow at X Factor

Supporting you every step of the way

There is financial help available when caring for a child with cancer

Find resources to help you be your child’s best advocate

We have produced a range of films featuring other parents to help


Please make a donation today. It is only with your donations that we can carry on doing amazing things for children like Danielle.

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