Leeds father-to-be’s brain tumour agony

Mark and Kerry Kelso. Picture James Hardisty
Mark and Kerry Kelso. Picture James Hardisty
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It should be the happiest time of their lives as they prepare for the birth of their first child.

But Kerry and Mark Kelso face an uncertain future after the new dad-to-be was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

The couple were just celebrating the news they were expecting their first baby when they were given the devastating diagnosis.

And now they are preparing for transatlantic treatment in a bid to remove the tumour, which they say is the size of a golf ball, behind Mark’s eyes.

Mark, 32, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “It has been really life changing for me.

“I have good days and sometimes I have bad days.

“It is terrible not being able to do things because I can’t even go out into the garden anymore.

“But life is too short to mope.”

The couple from east Leeds are hoping to raise cash for a charity which offers support and advice to people and their families who have been affected by brain tumours.

Mark first realised there was something wrong when he started to suffer from double vision and then headaches last year.

The 32-year-old from east Leeds was told he had a tumour behind his eyes following an MRI scan in December.

He is now set to undergo surgery to remove the growth, which is believed to be the size of a golf ball, but he will also need to fly to America for special treatment.

His wife Kerry, 31, fears she will give birth to the couple’s first child in the States while her husband is receiving treatment.

Mark said: “It has been really life changing for me and I can’t work any more because of this.

“Sometimes I go to grab things and I miss it because my perception of depth has changed.

“I have good days and I have bad days. I don’t like relying on anyone else and I don’t like asking for help.

“But life is too short to mope around.”

The couple claim that only 14 adults a year are diagnosed with the rare tumour- but Mark’s tumour is not cancerous.

But they still face an uncertain future following Mark’s treatment.

Once surgery has taken place they could then be forced to travel to America or Europe for special Proton Therapy, which is not available in this country.

The specialised treatment, which is being funded by the NHS, aims to remove the rest of the tumour.

And they say after speaking to other sufferers the condition hasn’t returned within five years of treatment.

Kerry, 31, who is 23 weeks pregnant, says they are preparing themselves for the fact their child could be born in America.

Kerry Kelso said: “It was a shock when we found out.

“At first I though I could be a widow at 32 and a single mum but I am made of strong stuff.

“The tumour could come back after this and if that happens there would be nothing else they could possibly do.

“I said to him to fight this and to fight it for the baby.”

But the couple are vowing to stay strong for their baby.

Kerry added: “When you love someone you will do anything for them for better, for worse and in sickness and in health.

“I don’t know what’s around the corner.

“This time last year Mark was in a full bill of health and was active.”

The couple are currently fundraising for Brain Tumour Research to help offer support and advice to people diagnosed with the condition.


Kerry and Mark are hoping to raise hundreds of pounds to support Brain Tumour Research.

The charity, which was launched in 2008, and aims to raise at least £7 million a year to create seven Brain Tumour Research Centres of Excellence across the UK.

Kerry, who is petrified of spiders, is set to face her fear next week as part of their fundraising mission.

And the couple are hoping to continue supporting their charity once Mark has finished his treatment.

* For more information visit www.justgiving.com/kez-kelso.

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