A ROMSEY musician whose excessive water-drinking led to a deadly brain tumour diagnosis is being honoured with a charity concert for Brain Tumour Research.

Gary Evans, 66, has organised a night of live music to celebrate the life of his guitarist brother, Martin Evans, whose excessive water-drinking led to the shock discovery of a brain tumour that killed him.

In 2019, Martin was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) after “unusual behaviour” saw him admitted to hospital and a scan showed a lesion on his brain. Despite surgery and radiotherapy, the cancer became too aggressive, and he died in June 2020, aged 69, just nine months after he was diagnosed with the deadly disease.

Speaking of his brother, Skyline Gold community radio presenter Gary, said: “Martin was always a bit ‘odd’ growing up and it wasn’t until later in life when he was diagnosed with autism that his behaviour made more sense to us.”

Hampshire Chronicle: Martin and Gary in 2017Martin and Gary in 2017

“He used to drink excessive amounts of water which led him to be hospitalised a few times as he flushed his body of salt. When this happened on one occasion in March 2019, my partner and I had returned from holiday to the news that Martin had discharged himself from Southampton General Hospital where doctors thought he had suffered a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) or “mini stroke”, and as he discharged himself we only had the information that my brother provided.”

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Three months later, Martin was admitted to hospital again after emergency services were alerted to his “delirious behaviour” and an MRI scan revealed the devastating news of a lesion on his brain. A biopsy confirmed the tumour was a grade 4 GBM – which carries with it a very stark prognosis – and six weeks of radiotherapy followed."

Gary added: “Three months after surgery, Martin told me how he felt ‘wonderful’ – I’d never heard him say that before, however, this was short-lived and as the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world, Martin’s tumour returned and his condition deteriorated.”

Martin spent a month living with his brother before moving to Mountbatten Hampshire Hospice in West End, near Southampton, where he died on June 23, 2020.

Hampshire Chronicle: Martin playing at Watchfield Festival Martin playing at Watchfield Festival

Next month, on June 14, music fans will descend on Eastleigh’s Concorde Club for a night of musical entertainment from the likes of Peter Pods Peas and The Strand, for which Martin was lead guitarist during his career.

Gary said: “Music was the one thing we had in common. Whilst I was out DJing venues, Martin was touring with bands and played at Berkshire’s Watchfield Festival in 1972 with the band ‘Conventional Douglas’ and recorded with Spike Island at the BBC in Southampton.

“Martin died during the pandemic which meant we couldn’t get together to celebrate his life. We’re thrilled to be able to remember him whilst raising money for such an important cause, to help fund the fight and find a cure for this disease.”

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Mel Tiley, community development manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: “We’re sorry to learn about Martin’s death and the pain his brother went through. Martin’s story is a stark reminder of how indiscriminate brain tumours are, affecting anyone at any time. We’re grateful to his family and bandmates for coming together to help raise awareness and fundraise for this devastating disease.”

Hampshire Chronicle: Martin and his bandMartin and his band

Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centres in the UK. It also campaigns for the Government and the larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours in order to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure. The charity is the driving force behind the call for a national annual spend of £35 million in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia and is also campaigning for greater repurposing of drugs.

Tickets are priced at £10 per person and can be purchased at: tinyurl.com/5rpzuf4w

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