A CARE home worker from Somerset is stepping up to fundraise for Brain Tumour Research after her father was diagnosed with the disease. 

Sharon Buck, 36, who works as an activities assistant at Manor Care Home in Taunton, will be taking part in the charity's 10,000 steps a day in February challenge. 

Her father, Martin Buck, a 65-year-old former accountant, was diagnosed with a grade four glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in August. 

Martin's loved ones became concerned when he started to confuse the names of family members. 

During the August Bank Holiday, Sharon received a phone call from her mother, 69-year-old Barbara, a retired psychiatrist, who thought Martin may have been suffering from dementia or had a stroke.

Sharon said: "We noticed he was confusing the names of family members but he has 11 grandkids, so we weren’t sure if it was a red flag or not.

"I had a call from my mum and she said my dad’s face had dropped on one side and he had lost control of his arm when he was carrying his cup of coffee."

Paramedics believed Martin may be suffering a stroke, and he was rushed to Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton where a CT scan revealed the devastating news of a mass on his brain.

Somerset County Gazette: "REMAINING POSITIVE": Sharon's parents, Barbara and Martin Buck"REMAINING POSITIVE": Sharon's parents, Barbara and Martin Buck

On the same day, he was sent home with steroids to help stop the swelling. 

On September 8, surgeons at Southmead Hospital in Bristol removed most of the tumour in an operation that lasted eight hours.

"My mum and sister visited Dad in hospital after the operation, and he was due to come home that weekend, but he was very confused and was talking nonsense," said Sharon.

"He was taken for a follow-up scan which showed a blood clot from the operation, which dispersed after a few days."

Somerset County Gazette: SCAN: Most of the tumour was removed from Martin's brain during an eight-hour operation at Southmead Hospital in BristolSCAN: Most of the tumour was removed from Martin's brain during an eight-hour operation at Southmead Hospital in Bristol

Martin finished four weeks of radiotherapy treatment in November and is due to start six months of chemotherapy. 

Sharon said: "He’s responding really well to the treatment and we are all remaining positive.

"Dad is very much the head of the family and we all look up to him.

"When we were told that Dad had brain cancer, as a family we were fall shocked and thought back to when we lost my sister, Ruth, who was 34 when she died from bowel cancer seven years ago.

"We’re determined to stay positive and help other families going through this awful disease."

A few months ago, Sharon took part in Brain Tumour Research’s 100 star jumps a day in November challenge.

Now, she is hoping to raise £274 - which represents 10 per cent of the cost of a day’s research - through her 10,000 steps challenge. 

Sharon said: "I can walk up to 18,000 steps a day when I’m at work so I thought, why not help raise awareness at the same time whilst helping me to stay focused as Dad continues his treatment?"

In its first year, Brain Tumour Research’s 10,000 steps a day in February challenge raised nearly £1 million to support vital research and campaigning.

The charity is calling for people to join in with the Facebook challenge and make it even bigger and better this year.

Somerset County Gazette: FAMILY: Sharon, Martin, Barbara and their familyFAMILY: Sharon, Martin, Barbara and their family

Mel Tiley, community development manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: "We’re sorry to hear about Martin’s diagnosis and wish him well in his treatment.

"We’re grateful to Sharon for taking part in our Facebook challenge events to help raise awareness and fundraise to find a cure.

"The best part of the 10,000 steps a day in February challenge is that you can fit your steps in with your everyday life.

"That could be having a coffee and catching up with friends at your local park, walking your commute or school run instead of driving, getting off the bus a few stops earlier, or walking around your house whilst on the phone.

"You could even team up with friends or colleagues and complete your steps together."

Participants will receive a free emoji t-shirt and a fundraising pack when they receive their first donation and a special medal if they raise £274 or more.

According to Brain Tumour Research, brain tumours kill more people under the age of 40 than any other cancer, and around 16,000 people are diagnosed with a brain tumour in the UK every year. 

However, only around one per cent of the national spending on cancer research has been allocated to it.

Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centres in the UK and campaigns for the Government and larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, find a cure.

Somerset County Gazette: READY: Sharon is set to take on the 10,000 steps a day in February challengeREADY: Sharon is set to take on the 10,000 steps a day in February challenge

The charity is calling for a national annual spend of £35 million to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia. 

It is also campaigning for greater repurposing of drugs.

To learn more about Sharon's 10,000 steps a day fundraiser, or to donate, visit www.facebook.com/donate/243740304509578.

To join the challenge's Facebook group, visit www.facebook.com/groups/10000stepsadayinfebruary2022.