A woman who lost her daughter to a brain tumour just weeks before giving birth to another baby, has sponsored a day of research to help find a cure for the devastating disease.

Kazzy Minton from Pembrokeshire was 33 weeks pregnant with her fourth child, when 21-month-old Abby was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour in 1996. She died just six days later.

Western Telegraph: Abigail Burrows died in 1996Abigail Burrows died in 1996 (Image: Brain Tumour Research)

When Abby stopped eating Kazzy, who had two healthy sons aged 13 and 11, feared her daughter could have a brain tumour after watching her become unsteady on her feet. Her GP believed this might have been an ear infection.

Kazzy, 62, said: “We didn’t have Google back then but I did my own research and my mother’s instinct told me that something really wasn’t right.

"She had an MRI scan at Singleton Hospital in Swansea to rule out anything serious, for which she had to be anaesthetised for the scan. It was really scary.

“The wait for the results felt like a lifetime, and when they finally came, we couldn’t believe what we were seeing. The doctors said she had a brain tumour. And those were the words I dreaded hearing.”

Abby was diagnosed with a neuroblastoma, which is a rare cancer that develops from immature nerve cells called neuroblasts. It primarily affects infants and young children, with the majority of cases diagnosed in children under the age of five.

In April 1996, just hours after undergoing emergency debulking surgery at Morriston Hospital, Abby died.

Kazzy said: “I was only weeks away from giving birth and I had to plan my daughter’s funeral. That whole period in between Abby dying and my son, Sam, arriving is a blur. It was hell.

“ I was completely grief-stricken but somehow had to keep going to look after my other children and prepare for the imminent arrival of my fourth child.

“Even though we’d been told that Abby’s tumour was ‘one in a million’, I was worried in case the baby I was carrying had one too. The doctors did a late scan to check for any abnormalities and didn’t find anything of concern.

“When Sam arrived, he was the image of his big sister. He had the same colouring, the same blue eyes. He was a ray of sunshine in the darkness. Not long after welcoming Sam into our family, I was determined I was going to be pregnant again and 15 months later, my daughter Poppy Abigail arrived.”

Now a grandmother, Kazzy has fundraised for different charities in her daughter’s memory, including Brain Tumour Research. In 2022, she took part in 10,000 Steps a Day in February challenge followed by Wear A Hat Day, raising almost £3,000 for the charity.

On Thursday, October 12, Kazzy was among a select group of supporters who were given the opportunity to tour Brain Tumour Research’s Centre of Excellence at Imperial College, London.

They heard presentations from neurosurgeon and research fellow Dr Giulio Anichini and senior research fellow Dr Nelofer Syed both from Imperial, as well as from Hugh Adams, head of stakeholder relations at Brain Tumour Research, before being given a tour of the labs and learning more about the progress which is being made to find a cure for brain tumours through speaking with the scientists working there.

Afterwards Kazzy placed a tile, representative of the £2,740 it costs to fund each day of research – on the centre’s Wall of Hope.

Kazzy said: “Abby’s always there, wherever I go, whatever I do, in my heart, in the beautiful world all around me, in the butterflies, the clouds, the waves - she is there.

“Supporting this charity means so much to me. To know that Abby is still being talked about and thought of this is very special. We must continue to raise funds and awareness so that no other family has to experience the loss of a loved one at any age.”