Leeds father-to-be vows to battle brain tumour

Mark and Kerry Kelso
Mark and Kerry Kelso
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It should be the happiest time of their lives as they prepare for the birth of their first child.

But Kerry and Mark Kelso face an uncertain future after the new dad-to-be was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

The couple were just celebrating the news they were expecting their first baby when they were given the devastating diagnosis.

And now they are preparing for transatlantic treatment in a bid to remove the tumour, which they say is the size of a golf ball, behind Mark’s eyes.

Mr Kelso, 32, said: “It has been really life changing for me.

“I have good days and sometimes I have bad days.

“It is terrible not being able to do things because I can’t even go out into the garden anymore.

“But life is too short to mope.”

The couple from east Leeds are hoping to raise cash for a charity which offers support and advice to people and their families who have been affected by brain tumours.

But Mr Kelso has vowed to stay strong for his unborn baby as he prepares for the pioneering treatment.

He first realised there was something wrong when he started to suffer from double vision and then headaches last year.

The 32-year-old from Leeds was told he had a tumour behind his eyes following an MRI scan in December.

He is set to undergo surgery to remove the growth but he will also need to fly abroad for special pioneering treatment.

His devoted wife Kerry, 31, fears she will give birth to the couple’s first child in the States while her husband is also receiving treatment.

Mr Kelso said: “It is getting worse for me to go out but I have started to adapt to it for now

“Sometimes I go to grab things but I end up missing them and I even walked out into the road without knowing it because to me I though I was on the pavement

“But to me this is all about keeping my independence and I really don’t like relying on anyone else at all.”

The couple claim that only 14 adults a year are diagnosed with the rare tumour - but they have been told that Mr Kelso’s tumour is not cancerous.

Once surgery has taken place they could then be forced to travel to America or Europe for special Proton Therapy, which is not available in this country.

The specialised treatment, which is being funded by the NHS, aims to remove the rest of the tumour.

Mrs Kelso, 31, who is 23 weeks pregnant, said: “It was a shock when we found out.

“At first I though I could be a widow at 32 and a single mum but I am made of strong stuff.

“The tumour could come back after this and if that happens there would be nothing else they could possibly do.

“I said to him to fight this and to fight it for the baby.”

But the couple are vowing to stay strong for their baby.

Mrs Kelso added: “When you love someone you will do anything for them for better, for worse and in sickness and in health.

“I don’t know what’s around the corner. This time last year Mark was in a full bill of health and was active.”

The couple are currently fundraising for Brain Tumour Research.

SUPPORTING CHARITY

Mr and Mrs Kelso are hoping to raise hundreds of pounds to support Brain Tumour Research.

The charity, which was launched in 2008, and aims to raise at least £7 million a year to create seven Brain Tumour Research Centres of Excellence across the UK.

Mrs Kelso, who is petrified of spiders, is set to face her fear next week as part of their fundraising mission.

And the couple are hoping to continue supporting the charity once Mr Kelso has finished his treatment.

For more information visit www.justgiving.com/kez-kelso.