More than 700 employees at Arcadis Consulting have been invited to don their favourite headwear as part of Wear A Hat Day – an iconic event from Brain Tumour Research - which officially takes place on Friday, March 31.
The event is to remember 52-year-old Mike Malcolm, who experienced changes in his vision which he later found out were caused by a terminal brain tumour.
The entrepreneur and salesman suffered intense headaches and problems with his balance as well as a loss to his peripheral vision, which on one occasion caused him to crash his car.
A subsequent MRI scan at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham revealed the shocking discovery of a mass on his brain and he was diagnosed with a glioblastoma (GBM).
His family friend Rob Loggie, who is a business director at Arcadis Consulting said: “We were told that even after treatment, Mike was only expected to live for around 12 to 18 months. We were in pieces at the news, but Mike always took everything in his stride and showed incredible resilience.
“He also had the wonderful support of his family, including son Ashley who he enjoyed poker trips to Las Vegas with.”
Despite debulking surgery, Mike was warned the mass would grow back. He had radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment which kept the mass stable for almost five years.
However, in December 2014 he was given just six months to live after news the tumour was growing.
Rob, 59, who lives in the West Midlands, said: “He took this news on the chin and treated every day as a blessing. Eventually he slipped into a coma and a couple of weeks later he passed away at home with his family by his side.”
“Only 5 per cent of GBM patients survive more than five years, Mike made it to almost five years. Doctors were truly surprised with how long his tumour took to grow back after surgery and treatment.
“Towards the end of his life he lost the ability to do the things he loved, including sports, and he could no longer play golf with Ashley.
“Mike remained upbeat until the very end and I think this helped us all to deal with his illness a little better than if he had been a glass half empty kind of guy. Mike was indeed a ray of sunshine in our lives.”
After taking part in a collection for the charity, Rob felt motivated to do more to help raise awareness and funds for Brain Tumour Research. He has set himself a target of raising £1,000.
He added: “On 29 March we have a staff social for around 80 of the Birmingham office employees of Arcadis. I have organised a bar night with fun card game activities and have prizes for the best hats on the day.
“After seeing the impact this disease can have on people who are diagnosed, and their families, I felt there was so much more that I could be doing.
“I have met a variety of people who all have lived experience of the disease and to be a small part of the solution is very important to me and something I am privileged to do.”
The event, during Brain Tumour Awareness Month, comes after Brain Tumour Research announced a £2.5m funding agreement to help find a cure for the deadliest of all childhood cancers.
The grant is being awarded to The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), in Sutton, Surrey, where a team of scientists led by Professor Chris Jones will form the charity’s fourth Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence.
Mel Tiley, community development manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “We’re sorry to hear about Mike’s passing after he was diagnosed with a GBM.
“It’s with the support of people such as Rob, and others, that will help us get closer to finding better treatments and eventually a cure for the disease. We wish Rob, his colleagues and friends, the best of luck during their jam-packed fundraiser.”
To donate to Brain Tumour Research via Rob’s fundraiser, please visit: justgiving.com/fundraising/Robert-Loggie