Andy Hampton – his baby Henley and wife Gemma. BRAIN TUMOUR RESEARCH VIA SWNS. 
Andy Hampton – his baby Henley and wife Gemma. BRAIN TUMOUR RESEARCH VIA SWNS. 

Andy Hampton – his baby Henley and wife Gemma. BRAIN TUMOUR RESEARCH VIA SWNS. 

By Lauren Beavis

A dad is defying the odds after surgery for a tumor which made him convinced his loyal wife was having an affair.

Father-of-four, Andy Hampton, 54, became distant and apathetic, and paranoid his wife of three years, Gemma, 37, was cheating on him.

And after the birth of son Henley, the once-doting dad showed an uncharacteristic lack of interest in his family and became forgetful.

He later found the cause for his bizarre symptoms was a deadly glioblastoma (GBM) brain tumor.

Gemma, Andy’s wife, says “life has returned to his eyes” following initial debulking surgery and months of treatment.

And despite the immense challenges, the father-of-four from Dorset will be scaling Yr Wyddfa, a 1,085 meter (3,560 feet) peak in Wales, on Saturday, July 6.

Andy will be raising money and awareness for Brain Tumour Research – and his four-year-old daughter Isabelle will be right by his side on the climb.

Andy, from Sturminster Newton, said: “The fact remains that this disease affects children more than adults.

“I know it’s too late for me, but I can’t leave a world where children are made to suffer like this. Something needs to be done.

“This will be my first time tackling the mountain since my diagnosis.

“It will be harder than ever before, but I’m ready to push myself to the limit to fight this disease.

“I’ve always dreamed of having a full English breakfast at the summit with the sun going up, so I just have to go back.”

Andy and Gemma Hampton on their wedding day in July 2020 with baby Isabelle. BRAIN TUMOUR RESEARCH VIA SWNS.

Andy, an experienced hiker and marathon runner, will be battling more than just the incline on the challenge.

As a result of the high-grade tumor being positioned on Andy’s optical nerve, his eyesight is now severely impaired, and invasive radiotherapy has damaged his hearing.

Gemma said: “It’s been over a year since Andy was diagnosed, and we’re one of the lucky ones.

“He was initially given a prognosis of 12 to 18 months, but Andy is a fighter, and he is feeling more like his old self after coming off chemotherapy.

“The thing with Andy is he probably doesn’t have the energy for this challenge, but he always finds a way.”

Speaking previously Gemma said “his paranoia caused him to believe things that weren’t true” before he was diagnosed.

Then land agent Andy fell asleep at the birth of his son, Henley, in May 2022.

And from March to May 2023 Gemma said he was “all over the place”.

The “final straw” came when he was making the bed and couldn’t figure out how to take the duvet out of the cover.

He booked a check up with his GP.

On the way to the appointment, Andy vomited and the doctor referred him urgently to A&E at Dorset County Hospital with a suspected infection.

Within 24 hours Andy’s cognition had deteriorated. He had a scan and was diagnosed with a glioblastoma (GBM).

A glioblastoma is a fast-growing type of tumor that is the most common type of primary malignant brain tumour in adults.

He had debulking surgery on 31 May 2023 at Southampton General Hospital followed by six weeks of combined radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Andy with son Henley on his back. BRAIN TUMOUR RESEARCH VIA SWNS.

The summit climb this week will be the third time the family have supported Brain Tumour Research since Andy was diagnosed – after they were left stunned by the “barbaric” treatment that brain cancer patients are forced to endure.

Gemma said: “We didn’t know anything about brain tumors before the diagnosis. Until it affects you, you just don’t realize how underfunded research is, and how brutal the treatments are.

“I remember watching Andy as he was strapped to his hospital bed and had his brain zapped with radiotherapy. It’s shocking.

“When we first took Andy to hospital, there was not a single leaflet to be found on brain tumors.

“We are so conditioned to look out for breast cancer, lung cancer, and so on, but are never made aware of the signs of brain cancer.

“We had a brain tumor staring us in the face the whole time and we didn’t pick up on it.”

Louise Aubrey, community development manager at Brain Tumour Research, has called Andy an inspiration.

She said: “Andy’s determination and spirit in the face of this devastating disease is an inspiration to us all.

“Research we are funding across our Centers of Excellence will help lead towards improving treatments and finding a cure for GBM.”

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