Cain North

3 min read

Cain North, 22, from York, is living with a glioblastoma (GBM). He was diagnosed in April 2023 after suffering seizures; he was told he had just a year to live. Cain, a personal trainer, has undergone two brain operations and radiotherapy. Determined to do what they can to help find a cure, Cain and his family and friends have raised thousands of pounds for Brain Tumour Research.

Cain North Case Study - Brain Tumour Research

Cain tells his story…

In April 2023, I’d been working at the gym and then did some training afterwards. My friends were in town so I called them to say I would join them after I’d had a shower at home.

“I drove home and pulled up on the drive, but I don’t remember anything after that.”

Cain North - Brain Tumour Research

My parents told me that, when I came into the house, I was walking around in circles in the living room. They said my head then turned to the side, and I started blinking a lot.

“I ended up having six seizures that night; I fell unconscious and stopped breathing so an ambulance took me to The York Hospital. When I woke up, I was surrounded by nurses. When they told me what had happened, I was in disbelief thinking ‘that can’t be true’.”

Cain North Glioblastoma

The doctors did loads of tests and a scan. I was feeling so well though and I just wanted to go home. The doctors said they hadn’t spotted anything, and I seemed fine, so they sent me home.

Cain North Glioblastoma Brain Tumour Research

Soon after, the strangest thing happened. I couldn’t remember anything, and I couldn’t speak. In my head, I would say something, but it wouldn’t come out of my mouth. It was really frustrating and made me angry. My parents called 111 and they told them to call for an ambulance. On the way back to the hospital, I had several seizures.

Cain North Case Study Glioblastoma Brain Tumour Research

At the hospital, I had an MRI scan which revealed a brain tumour, a glioblastoma (GBM).

 “When I was told, my family was devastated. I took the news easier; I was actually happy that I finally knew what was wrong with me.”

Cain North Glioblastoma In Hope Brain Tumour Research

I just wanted to get into the gym because it’s good for my mental health; I felt the sooner I could accept it, the sooner I could help others through fundraising.

 In May, I underwent surgery at Hull Royal Infirmary. The surgeons managed to remove most of it, apart from a small section which was on the motor strip. It couldn’t really have gone any better; I felt really good, and I was home after 24 hours.

Cain North Brain Tumour Research Glioblastoma

Three weeks after the operation, I was due to begin radiotherapy, but an MRI scan the day before the start of the treatment showed the tumour had grown back to its original size.

 “I’d been told the tumour may grow back after five to ten years, so I was worried when it returned after just three weeks. Unfortunately, after my second operation, I was told I had just twelve months to live.”

Cain North Glioblastoma

I then had radiotherapy at St James’s University Hospital in Leeds every day for 30 sessions. Apart from losing my hair, I didn’t have any side effects so I could continue working and training. I had a strong mindset; I’m young, strong and healthy and I don’t drink or smoke.

 I organised my own Walk of Hope which was amazing; there was a huge turnout and we raised £5,000 for Brain Tumour Research. My brother, Shay, and my best mates Cam Coates and Max Rollinson then set up a Just Giving page and, so far, we’ve raised £6,000.

Cain North In Hope

Since then, people have done things like the Great North Run, and the Tough Mudder to raise money. I’ve been doing the Skip for 10 Minutes Every Day in November challenge; when that’s over, I’ll host a Bonkers Brain Bingo night at Bishopthorpe Sports & Social Club in December.

Cain North Brain Tumour Research Glioblastoma Case Study

“There’s no stopping us; we’ve got loads of plans for the future, so we want to keep going as raise as much money as we can to help find a cure. Every brain is different. As much as the NHS knows about brain tumours, there is so much it doesn’t know.”

Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet there is such a lack of Government funding. It’s shocking and it’s just not right. Much more needs to be done.

Cain North
November 2023

Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age. What’s more, they kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer... yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.

Brain Tumour Research is determined to change this.

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