A mum-of-two has launched a fundraising group in honour of her late husband who spread “hope, light and humour” before his death from a brain tumour.

Shaz Hetherington of Woodford Green launched Power of David (PoD) to support the Brain Tumour Research charity which funds research into the disease that claimed the life of her husband, David Hetherington, in 2016.

The group held its official launch event on Monday, August 6, in Canary Wharf, which would have been David’s 41st birthday.

Friends, family and supporters, known as ‘PoDsters’ were all in attendance as the group pledged to help fund the fight against brain tumours.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

John Baker, Susan Begum, Shaz Hetherington, Joy Khatun, Layla and Daniel Hetherington.

Shaz, 41, said: “Since losing David, myself and others have raised approximately £25,000 for the Brain Tumour Research charity in his memory.

“Something good had to come from our deep loss and I kept thinking ‘the darkest hour is just before the dawn’.

“Creating this fundraising group keeps momentum going and ensures that David’s legacy lives on.”

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

Less than three years later, David’s tumour had changed to a highly aggressive glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and he underwent gruelling radiotherapy and chemotherapy to treat it.

But despite this intensive treatment, David died at the age of 39, leaving two children, Layla, now aged six, and Daniel, four.

The money raised by PoD will help the Brain Tumour Research charity in its mission to build a network of experts in sustainable research.

Shaz added: “The name ‘Power of David’ comes from David’s ability to impact others in a positive way.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

PoDster John Baker speaking at the launch event.

“Leaving a lasting impression was his super-power. Wherever he went, David carried hope, light and humour with him, leaving a little bit of each with everyone he encountered, and this is going to be at the heart of PoD.”

PoD and its associated events are run by an army of volunteers, including John Baker, a colleague of David and Shaz’s from HSBC.

He said: “It was terrible to see a brain tumour strike down a fitter, healthier and much younger friend. Seeing how David’s diagnosis devastated his family too is motivation enough and I’m determined to help Shaz on her mission to make a difference.”

Strictly Come Dancing finalist, Debbie McGee, who lost her husband the magician Paul Daniels to a brain tumour, gave her backing to the fundraising group.

She said: “I met John recently and he told me the sad story about David. I am so pleased to hear about Shaz’s determination to use her terrible loss to raise much needed money to try and find a cure for this horrible disease.

“Please can I urge all of David’s many friends and family to support Power of David and help Shaz create a lasting memorial to her beloved David.”

The group’s first event will be the David Hetherington Memorial Walk of Hope in September which will see a group of volunteers walk around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford to raise cash for the charity.

Robin Meltzer, director of fundraising at Brain Tumour Research, said the charity is “extremely grateful” for the support of Shaz, John and their fellow PoDsters and welcomed the group into the Brain Tumour Research family.