A woman whose husband has been diagnosed with brain cancer is hoping for the gift of time this Christmas.

Mauricee Bravo-Hibberd’s husband, Sam, was diagnosed with an inoperable glioblastoma (GBM) in September, just two months after their daughter was born.Peterborough Matters: Sam with baby daughter Alejandria.Sam with baby daughter Alejandria. (Image: FAMILY) 

The 37-year-old, from Peterborough, said: “We had a normal, comfortable, albeit somewhat hectic, family life until suddenly we didn’t.

"I really miss that now, the blissful chaos, manic mornings prepping for work, school and nursery, and Sam and our boys playing football in the garden as I watched from the kitchen.

“We used to take our kids to quite a lot of after school clubs, which we’ve had to cancel since Sam’s diagnosis. Gabriel, our two-year-old, played football with a local club and Theo, who is 13, had acting club, cadets and karate.

Peterborough Matters: The family had a normal hectic life.The family had a normal hectic life. (Image: FAMILY)

“Sam used to do most of the running around because he worked locally in recruitment whereas I have a substantial role in healthcare about an hour away and work longer hours.

“I’m currently on maternity leave having had our daughter three months ago and am now also Sam’s full-time carer. Our lives feel like a living nightmare.”

Sam, a father-of-three, had been experiencing personality changes for at least a year and had suffered from headaches, taste auras and confusion for about two weeks prior.

He was given just eight to 12 weeks to live and was referred to palliative care. However, after seeking a second opinion privately, he underwent an open biopsy during which around 30 per cent of his tumour was debulked.

The 34-year-old is now undergoing radiotherapy whilst Mauricee is attempting to buy him more time with her and their children by crowdfunding to enable them to source alternative treatments not yet available on the NHS.

Mauricee, who is working with the charity Brain Tumour Research to share her story, said: “I’ve been researching alternative treatments like immunotherapy and tumour treating fields.

"There’s a device called Optune which uses alternating electrical fields to cause cell death and stop the tumour growing so quickly. But, on average, it costs £17,500 to £20,000 a month whilst immunotherapies can cost £2,500 per infusion in the UK.

“Bespoke treatments offered by CeGat, a genetic research clinic in Germany, cost around £100,000 and DCVax-L, a type of immunotherapy known as a dendritic cell vaccine, costs patients around £250,000.”

She added: “I’m in touch with the wife of a GBM survivor who was able to have Optune, immunotherapy and CeGat treatment because of money raised through crowdfunding.

"I didn’t want to go down the route of asking other people for money but, after she suggested it, my sister persuaded me to swallow my pride for the sake of my children.

“People have already been very generous and we are so grateful, but we are still a long way off where we need to be in order to pursue treatments privately without compromising our children’s future and financial stability.

“I’m currently selling our car and a few more significant possessions and investments but we would be grateful for any donations to help ensure this isn’t our last Christmas as a family.”

Charlie Allsebrook, community development manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “Sam’s heartbreaking story is a stark reminder of the indiscriminate nature of brain tumours, which can affect anyone at any time.

"They kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease since records began in 2002.

"We’re determined to change this but it’s only by working together we will be able to improve treatment options for patients and, ultimately, find a cure. We wish Sam and Mauricee a very special Christmas with their children.”

To donate to Mauricee’s crowdfunding page, go to: https://gofund.me/f85273b5 and to find out more about Brain Tumour Research, visit: www.braintumourresearch.org.