Three sons were left distraught when doctors said their ‘generous and loving’ mum’s brain tumour could not be cured.
Jenny Garner, 62, was diagnosed with a grade IV Glioblastoma – the most common high grade primary brain tumour – on February 23, 2022. Doctors told her family the disease was incurable but they could focus on shrinking the tumour.
Jenny, who lived in Warrington, was given an initial life expectancy of nine to 12 months. But less than three months later, on May 18, she passed away.
Her son, Paul Garner, will complete a charity skydive in August to raise money for The Brain Tumour Charity to help other families in the same situation, despite his fear of heights. Paul said: “It was such a massive shock because it was less than three months from the diagnosis to her passing away.
“They turned around and essentially said there’s nothing we can do. That’s the hardest bit because of course you initially turn to hope and think there must be something. It was difficult because she was only 62 and it was very much out of the blue.
“The prognosis that she may only live for nine to 12 months was obviously really hard to hear. You can still do a lot in that time but it was getting worse and worse with each hospital visit.”
Paul, 26, said his mum was very family oriented and loved nothing more than spending time with her grandkids James (eight) and Harry (one). Jenny worked at Barclays Bank in Wavertree for 30 years and was loved by many, including husband John and her other two sons, Michael and Stephen.
Jenny was born in Liverpool city centre. She lived in Old Swan and Huyton before moving to Warrington 15 years ago.
Paul, who works in sales for a software company, said: “My mum was a very special woman – so kind, generous and loving. She was so selfless in everything she did and would put everyone else before herself.
“She had a smile that would light up any room. As a family we are so lucky to have had her in our lives and she will be forever missed.”
Jenny’s illness wasn’t the first time Paul had been personally affected by a glioblastoma. In 2019 his friends Mike and Joanne lost their son, Jacob, to the same tumour. The skydive will also be in memory of Jacob.
Paul will complete his tandem skydive on August 26 at Black Knights Parachute Centre in Lancaster, despite being terrified of heights. He set up a fundraising page this week and has already surpassed his target of £1,000.
He said: “I just wanted to do something that is a challenge and I’m scared of heights. It should be fun but I’ll definitely be nervous on the day. It’s a nice thing to be able to do in her memory.
“I just don’t want anyone else to have to go through what our family went through so I’m doing my best to raise money for research. It seems so crazy that there’s basically nothing that can be done.”
Glioblastomas – the brain tumour Jenny was diagnosed with – are fast-growing, likely to spread and may return after they initially appear to have gone. Paul said there haven’t been any major developments in research for 15 years but public awareness grew after Tom Parker died from the disease on March 30, 2022.
You can donate to Paul’s GoFundMe page here.