Skydive for former Ipswich teach assistant with brain tumour

12:00 PM July 3, 2022

Six teachers at an Ipswich school will be leaping out of a plane this autumn in support of their former colleague with a brain tumour.

Ruth Brailsford, 40, is a former teaching assistant at the Meadows Montessori School on Larchcroft Road.

She was diagnosed with a grade four glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in November last year, after suffering from debilitating headaches.

Ruth underwent an 11-hour operation to remove the tumour, and, although the procedure went well, surgeons discovered she had two more inoperable tumours.

Ruth has had radiotherapy and chemotherapy, but has now been told that there are no more treatment options available to her.

Ruth Brailsford with her son. Ruth received her brain tumor diagnosis last year
– Credit: Brain Tumor Research

Ruth and her husband, Mark, before her diagnosis.

Ruth and her husband, Mark, before her diagnosis.
– Credit: Brain Tumor Research

Now, six of her former colleagues, including four from one family, are determined to show their support by taking part in a skydive this September, to raise money for Brain Tumor Research.

Among them is headteacher, Sam Sims.

Sam said: “We really want to support research into this disease. Sadly, Ruth is at the end of her treatment options now but, although she’s no longer working with us, she’s still very much a part of us and is planning on being there to watch us on the day.

“I’m terrified about doing it because it’s so far out of my comfort zone. I’ve done a few fundraisers before, so felt I had to do that to raise money and get people digging deep into their pockets again.

“I’m planning to jump first so that I don’t have to watch anyone else because this is a really big thing for me.”

Ruth's six former colleagues will be skydiving to raise money for Brain Tumor Research

Ruth’s six former colleagues will be skydiving to raise money for Brain Tumor Research. LR: Matt Sims, Theo Sims, Hollie Bowman, Kay Parker, headteacher Sam Sims and Oscar Sims. The Sim family make up two thirds of the team.
– Credit: Brain Tumor Research

Sam will be joined for the skydive at Beccles Airfield by colleagues Kay Parker and Hollie Bowman, as well as husband Matt and sons Theo and Oscar, who also teach at the school.

Ruth said: “The school has supported me, my husband and our eight-year-old boy so well since this all started, from headaches to diagnosis, operation, recovery and treatment.

“They regularly raise awareness with the parents and students, and what Sam and the team are doing now is amazing. For them to be raising money for research to hopefully lead to earlier diagnoses, better treatments and even a cure is great.

“We are so proud to call this group of people our school family.”

To help the Meadows Montessori School reach their £3,000 target,

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