Charity mission for Huddersfield firefighter battling brain tumour

Firefighter Andy Wooler is raising funds for the Candlelighters charity

Huddersfield Watch Commander Andy Wooler is battling a brain tumour

Brave firefighter Andy Wooler is back at work after battling a brain tumour.

And now the Huddersfield hero is hoping to raise cash for a cancer charity.

Watch Commander Wooler's life was turned upside down last year when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour after suffering from seizures out of the blue.

The 45-year-old dad, who previously had no serious health conditions, has had to come to terms with the diagnosis of a grade three, potentially life-threatening tumour.

He spent a week at Leeds General Infirmary and since then he has undergone gruelling radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment.

It was while he was in the LGI he became familiar with the amazing work of Yorkshire children's cancer charity, Candlelighters, and has now organised a fundraising car wash for them.

It takes place on Saturday, April 12, at Huddersfield Fire Station, between 10am and 4pm, and Andy is appealing for the community to get behind

his goal of raising £1,000.

He said: “Being diagnosed with a brain tumour is something I never contemplated would ever happen to me and it has been a massive shock to come to terms with - and I‟m an adult.

“I have a 12-year-old son and I wonder, what if it was our son going through what I'm going through?‟ I don't know how families deal with that.

“I just want to do something to show my gratitude to the hospital for the treatment and care I have received and hopefully raise some cash for the youngsters.”

Andy's story started last July when he had an unexpected seizure and a scan revealed the brain tumour.

A biopsy was taken and it was initially thought to be non-cancerous (benign).However, six weeks later Andy had a second seizure and a second biopsy confirmed the tumour was malignant and was grade three,grade four being the most aggressive.

He undertook a course of 30 sessions of radiotherapy throughout November and December 2013.

“The radiotherapy was every day, Monday to Friday for six weeks. It zaps you completely. You just have no energy, that‟s the biggest thing.”

At the end of January this year Andy started follow-up chemotherapy and has now returned to work on non-operational duties.

He said: “The latest scan I had a couple of weeks ago showed the tumour had enhanced which could mean one of two things. Either the treatment is not working or it had been sensitised by the chemotherapy.

“It‟s not great news. They have not given me a final prognosis. I'm just going to continue with the chemotherapy and that will take me up to summer time. We will see from there. I think that will be a crucial time.

“The oncology doctor said that they can't get rid of the tumour so it's living with it and managing it. My gut feeling is that I'm living with it for as long as I live and I hope that is many, many years. ”

Candlelighters was formed 40 years ago and is run by parents of youngsters who have, or have had, cancer and the medics who treat them.

It offers emotional, practical and financial support.

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