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Whiteys Battle with GBM

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Whitey’s Battle against GBM

On July 23rd 2016, our lives changed forever. My husband Stephen and I were on an anniversary weekend away in Belfast. But what was meant to be a celebration of 16 years of marriage, soon turned into a living nightmare. 

We first noticed something was wrong during our first morning in Belfast, when Stephen suffered a seizure for the first time in his life. Within the space of a couple of hours, my husband had suffered three seizures, which lead to his lungs collapsing. 

Stephen, who is just 43, was put into a medically induced coma and rushed to intensive care. A CT scan on his brain later highlighted a ‘mass’ on his left temporal lobe. 

Living with Glioblastoma (GBM)

We later learned he had been living with a life-threatening brain tumour. The condition is called Glioblastoma (GBM) and is often referred to as “The Terminator”, due to its aggressive nature and resistance to current NHS medical treatment. The median survival rate is between six to 18 months from initial diagnosis. 

The news was devastating for us as a family. We were a long way from our home in North West England, where family and friends were looking after our two sons, aged 14 and 5. In all my 24 years with Stephen, I’ve always known him to be a fit, healthy and hardworking husband and Daddy!  

A week after the initial seizure, Stephen was flown home from Belfast and then our journey at the fantastic Walton Centre began. Here Stephen had surgery to remove as much of the tumour as possible, 95% in fact. 

Stephen has kept positive and has recovered well. Less than four weeks later, he was back out on his bike and cycling to stay fit and healthy. His perseverance and the successful operation have given us hope, but the fight continues. 

Radiotherapy and chemotherapy

The next stage of treatment is now due to begin. This will include six weeks of intensive radiotherapy and chemotherapy, at The Clatterbridge Centre, followed by 6 months of further chemotherapy to hopefully shrink the remaining tumour.

Unfortunately, this type of aggressive tumour always recurs and treatment options on the NHS are minimal and in many cases, unsuccessful – it’s not called The Terminator for nothing! But despite the devastation GBM can cause, treatment options have not changed since 2004 and research remains hugely underfunded. 

Stephen is keeping as positive as possible and is working hard to stay fit to help combat the effect of the radio and chemotherapy - he’s determined to fight this horrible disease head on. Alongside conventional treatment options, my husband is also following a number of diet and lifestyle changes to hopefully improve his chances of the treatment being successful.

Treatment options for GBM

Since his diagnosis, we’ve conducted extensive research into all current available treatments, including the options if this catastrophic tumour reoccurs. Among these is immunotherapy, which is currently showing some promise in eradicating GBM.

Immunotherapy alerts the immune system to find and attack the brain cancer cells. Unfortunately treatment is only available privately and costs over £200,000. 

We are also monitoring all possible options with regards clinical trials, many of which may be overseas. We are also looking at alternative treatments like a Ketogenic diet, Kangen Water systems (filtered alkaline water) and other nutritional supplements. 

Despite these setbacks, we’re continuing to persevere to save Stephen’s life. My husband is a kind, amazing, sociable and hardworking person. He has progressed in the same organisation for 26 years to provide for myself, and our two boys, Joseph and Sam. He has been overwhelmed by the support he has received so far. 

Unfortunately as a result of the diagnosis, Stephen has to surrender his driving licence and we are realising more and more that the life we once knew has changed forever. 

Stephen’s work with the Steve Prescott Foundation

Alongside his regular work, Stephen is a proud Trustee for The Steve Prescott Foundation - ironically a charity that supports a number of cancer related organisations. Over the last 10 years Stephen has took part in many gruelling physical challenges to raise funds for The Steve Prescott Foundation. 

Steve Prescott MBE was diagnosed with a rare form of abdominal cancer in 2006 and was given months to live. He set up the Steve Prescott Foundation in 2007. After an inspirational long battle with the disease, he died in 2013 following complications from a transplant operation that cured him of his cancer, aged 39. 

Stephen was a close friend of Steve’s and has taken a lot of inspiration from him during this difficult period. One of Steve's favourite quotes was "what the mind believes the body achieves", which is certainly poignant to us now during this difficult time.

Our fight to save Stephen’s life and raise awareness of GBM

We are putting all our personal finances into saving Stephen’s life, however it’s clear that we will be unable to fund all his treatment alone. For this reason, we have decided to set up this fundraising campaign to raise awareness of GBM, and support us as a family with the much-needed funds for Stephen’s treatments.

Initially the fundraising will be used to support the ongoing costs associated with the current treatment plan including alternative therapy, dietary changes, nutritional supplements and Kangen water.
Also as mentioned above the funds will also be used for further treatments unavailable on the NHS, either in the UK or Overseas including the potential of clinical trials.

Whilst any surplus funds will be donated to various cancer related charities including The Walton Centre, The Clatterbridge Centre and The Brain Tumour Charity which remains hugely underfunded.

Thanks so much for your support.

Katheryn White





  • LSH Nomads
    • £400 (Offline)
    • 4 yrs
  • Barbara & Martyn Lucas
    • £20 (Offline)
    • 5 yrs


Katheryn White

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