A huge campaign aiming to raise awareness of brain tumours in children has been launched in Blackpool.
Theatre-goers, pub-goers and people taking a stroll down the Promenade will catch a glimpse of the new HeadSmart campaign, which aims to let parents know the symptoms of brain tumours, so they can be diagnosed before it’s too late.
It’s a campaign very close to the heart of David Kershaw, whose two-year-old son Jake died of an undiagnosed brain tumour in 2008.
“If this campaign was available, then my precious boy would still be here,” he said.
“It’s all about a symptom card, and Jake had all the symptoms of the earliest age range, however it was still not diagnosed.”
Mr Kershaw, 39, is leading the campaign in Blackpool, which aims to speak to all visitors to the resort at some point during their visit.
Information cards detailing the symptoms will be available at many popular establishments and businesses, including the Sandcastle Waterpark, North Pier and Viva Showbar.
The main message will also be displayed on the big screen outside North Pier.
Mr Kershaw said: “Wherever you go, you’ll know about HeadSmart.”
Jake died suddenly in bed at the family home on Rossall Road, Cleveleys, six years ago.
The day before his death he started being sick. Doctors said he had a sore throat and gave him antibiotics.
After his condition deteriorated, he died with his father by his side, despite the efforts of paramedics and hospital staff to save him.
Three days later, during a post-mortem examination, it was revealed Jake had died from a large benign tumour on his brain, which has started to bleed.
The awareness month begins today and runs until August 10, when there will be a family fun run called Jake’s Seaside Scamper.
The five-mile route runs from North Pier to The Venue, Cleveleys, and is open to all.
Money raised in the stunt will go towards funding symptoms cards, which will be available around the Fylde coast and handed out to parents to spot the signs of brain tumours in children and young people.
Visit www.jakekershaw.co.uk, or call Mr Kershaw on 07860 632233.