'We had so many plans': Mum opens up about losing husband in campaign

Shaz Hetherington with Daniel and Layla

Shaz Hetherington with Daniel and Layla - Credit: Brain Tumour Research

A bereaved Woodford Green mother is taking part in a charity’s campaign to raise awareness of brain tumours. 

In a Brain Tumour Research advertising campaign entitled Stop the Devastation, Shaz Hetherington tells the story of her husband David, who died from a brain tumour in 2016 aged just 39. 

The campaign aims to raise awareness of brain tumours - which kills more children and adults under 40 than any other cancer - and argues that research into the disease is underfunded. 

Mum-of-two Shaz, 44, said: “David and I met at work and we hit it off straight away. People said we were made for each other and he was definitely my soul mate.  

“We had so many plans for what we were going to do together. After his diagnosis, we lived from scan to scan.  

“When it was good news, we would go on holiday and then it got to a time when there were no more holidays.  

“My heart is broken, I live from day to day and, were it not for the children, I don’t know what I would do.  

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“It’s lonely being a widow, not something I ever thought I would be in my 30s.” 

David Hetherington was diagnosed with a brain tumour when Shaz was 31 weeks pregnant with their first child. 

Shaz, who works in financial services, stars in the ad with her children Layla, nine, and Daniel, seven. 

She added: “After losing David, I was determined to continue his legacy, and so I set up a fundraising group called The Power of David, to raise money for Brain Tumour Research in his memory.  

"The name was inspired by David’s ability to impact others in a positive way – a quality which I called his ‘superpower’."

Just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research is allocated to brain tumours, while 88pc of those diagnosed with the disease die within five years. 

Stop the Devastation is being launched at Wimbledon and will include outdoor advertising across the capital, a video screened at a series of outdoor festivals, and an accompanying social media campaign. 

Brain Tumour Research's spokesperson Hugh Adams said: “We are extremely grateful to Shaz for opening up on camera to star in the campaign.

"By sharing her heart-breaking story, she is helping us raise awareness and to drive change.”