A WINCHESTER woman who lost her husband to a brain tumour has told MPs of the heavy financial burden of the disease.

Jenny Farthing, 70, was at Westminster on Tuesday to tell her story to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on brain tumours as it held its AGM.

Jenny’s poignant story has formed part of the group’s new report Brain tumours – a cost too much to bear?

The report on the economic and social impacts of brain tumours is the result of a Parliamentary inquiry which received hundreds of submissions from patients and their families, charities and academics.

Jenny’s husband Guy Farthing (pictured), a garden designer who had won eight coveted gold medals at Chelsea Flower Show, was diagnosed with an inoperable low-grade brain tumour aged 60. Guy underwent radiotherapy and chemotherapy but passed away nine years later in October last year.

Jenny said: “My husband Guy had achieved such a lot with his career as a garden designer, medals at all the big shows including Chelsea and Tatton Park, and he had co-authored two books on garden design and maintenance with his father.

“He had just turned 60 when he was diagnosed. Nothing could have prepared us for what was to come, his steady deterioration over nine years and also the upheaval to our domestic arrangements and the financial, as well as the practical challenges this brought with it.

“We incurred £50,000 in costs as we moved house to an area where there was better public transport and accessibility to hospitals. We spent around £10,000 on equipment to help Guy get around, £7,500 to make our home suitable and safe for him, lost £10,000 in deposits for holidays and so on. Fees for carers came to around £5,000 and, in order to care for Guy in his last two-and-a-half years, I had to retire early from a well-paid job.

“During the last six months it became impossible for me to take any respite at all so I gave up my few hobbies to be with Guy as his mental capacity deteriorated and the world closed in around him. In the end it was too much for him to even understand the TV and, as his caregiver, I was making all the decisions in order to keep all the stress away from him as he simply couldn’t cope.”

The key findings of the report include the incapacitating nature of a brain tumour, costs range from loss of income through to higher domestic bills and costly home modifications, and the experience on children, teenagers and young adult patients.