A widow whose husband was diagnosed with a brain tumour while she was pregnant with their first child opened her home to the community to fundraise in his memory.

Shaz Hetherington of Woodford Green hosted a ‘Do Lunch’ event and raised £1,600 for Brian Tumour Research, a charity challenging the government to invest more in finding a cure for the deadly disease.

Her late husband David died aged 39 less than three years after his diagnosis, leaving the mum-of-two alone to care for Layla, six, and Daniel, four.

The 39-year-old had undergone gruelling radiotherapy and chemotherapy to treat a highly aggressive glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Shaz, right, with friend Joy Khatun.

Since her tragic loss, Mrs Hetherington has been raising cash to fund scientific research into brain tumours and on Sunday, July 8, more than 60 neighbours, friends and family turned up to her party where they basked in the 30C heat.

“Since David’s death, Layla, Daniel and I have been determined to fundraise in any way possible,” she said.

“‘Doing Lunch’ was a fun and easy way to raise money for a cause which will always be close to our hearts.

“There are so many ways, big and small, to fundraise and if everyone got on board with Do Lunch then just imagine how much of a difference we could make.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

The event was held in memory of David Hetherington.

“Having personally witnessed the devastation brain tumours can bring to patients and their loved ones, I know much more needs to be done.

“The established treatment options for brain tumours haven’t changed in decades and that has to be wrong.”

Brain Tumour Research is encouraging people to host a ‘Do Lunch’ event this summer, whether it’s a barbecue, a picnic or a formal three-course luncheon.

Cash donated by guests will go towards helping the charity sustain long-term, life-saving research at its network of world-class research centres in the UK.

Janice Wright, community fundraising manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “We’re extremely grateful to Shaz and her family who continue to support us through different fundraising events.

“Her Do Lunch party is the perfect example of how simple it is to help us fund a cure.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Guests donated £1,600 to fund research into brain tumours. 

“Brain tumours our 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 per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.”