UK family will spend SECOND Christmas in lockdown after dad is diagnosed with brain tumour

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2 個月前
A family is preparing for their second Christmas alone at home after shielding for an entire YEAR to protect dad who has an inoperable brain tumour. Greg Priddy, 45, was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour at the end of last year and received aggressive chemotherapy. The treatment weakened his immune system, and so exactly a year ago he, wife Jo, 41, and kids William, 13, and Amelia, 16, decided to isolate. And with the virus still around, they are yet to emerge from heir own lockdown. The kids have been home schooled for 52 weeks, and exam invigilator Jo and accounts manager Greg have worked from home the entire time. None of the family have gone to the shops or restaurants - relying on home delivery and online shopping - and nobody has set foot in their home. They've not mixed with friends and family, apart from socially distanced outdoors, and even exercise in their garden to avoid others. The family from Staines-Upon-Thames, Surrey, plan to continue in their 'bubble' until Greg's antibodies increase to make him more resilient to covid, which could be early next year. Jo from Staines-Upon-Thames, Surrey, said: "By the time Christmas comes around, we will have been shielding for 55 weeks. "It'll be yet another occasion we won't be able to spend with friends or family but we'll make it as fun as we can. "Obviously the most important thing is that Greg's safe and hopefully next year we'll be able to start getting some of our freedom back, the sorts of things most people take for granted like being able to pop to the shops or send the kids to school." Greg received his shock diagnosis of primary brain CNS lymphoma (PCNSL) after displaying strange behaviour. This included leaving the front door open at night or turning all the lights on in the house. A few days before his first MRI he also experienced weakness in his left-hand side which made Jo suspect he'd had a stroke. They discovered the tumour on Christmas Eve and by New Year's Eve knew it was inoperable. Jo said: "Christmas was very different for us because although we knew Greg had a mass on the brain we found out on Christmas Eve that it was cancerous. "Everyone was quite quiet, we just got up undid our stockings, sat and watched a bit of TV had dinner - it was like what do you do?" Greg underwent chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant to kill the cancer cells. This dangerously weakened his immune system, forcing him and his family to shield to protect him from COVID-19 which could be fatal. Not only did this mean they couldn't spend the Christmas period with friends and family, but provided some logistical challenges. Exam invigilator Jo said: "As well as needing to buy all of our groceries and supplies online, which is harder around busy periods like Christmas, we're also having to get all our presents that way too. "Doing certain things like trying to get hold of wrapping paper we've managed to do it through friends and family. "Amazon has been a bit of a lifeline for us this past year but it's started sending some items in their original packaging so it's getting harder to keep gifts a surprise from each other." Since then, his two children William, 13, and Amelia,16, have been home schooled and Greg working from home. The kids have also been working hard fundraising for charity Brain Tumour Research. William has raised over £13,000 running a daily mile in his back garden, as well as a whole marathon - or 1,992 laps - last month. He's now upped his distance to four miles throughout December and will be wearing a different festive costume each day, including a snowflake, reindeer and Christmas tree. Amelia has performed sponsored dance routines and sold homemade resin keyrings to assist with the fundraising. As they can't enjoy the day with family and friends, the teens plan to do special fundraising events on Christmas day. William will run dressed as 'the little drummer boy' in honour of his late great-grandad's favourite song, and Amelia will livestream a ballet performance from The Nutcracker. Their distanced family will also be supporting the Brain Tumour Research Wear a Christmas Hat Day. Greg is in remission and having regular scans to check on his tumours, but still needs time to develop antibodies from to his COVID vaccine, which is not as effective in cancer patients. Jo added: "This year it's going to be quite the contrast. "We now know that Greg is in remission which is amazing. "Normally we have everyone round here on Boxing Day so our Boxing Day is going to be very different. "We're going to be a bit lost, for the whole three days we're trying to cram everyone in with a time slot! "Anyone that's going through it - stay strong and do something positive." Charlie Allsebrook, community development manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: "The Priddy family has had a more difficult year than most but their positive attitude and innovative fundraising ideas have kept both them and us thoroughly entertained throughout. "We're extremely grateful for all their support and look forward to seeing all the fun they get up to during this festive period." To support William's ongoing fundraising, visit
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