Tricia fought the brain cancer for 21 long months. She was ready to go through any pain to be with her family for a little while longer.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on July 1, 2020, and has since been updated.
Nothing is more heartbreaking than losing a family too soon. Somehow it's worse when the person doesn't wish to leave their family behind and embark on a higher journey.
Tricia Scoullar, 59, was surrounded by her loved ones when she passed away. A beloved mom and granny, Tricia was diagnosed with the most aggressive form of brain cancer - Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) after she suffered a seizure. Understanding the threats of the condition, Clare Scoullar, her daughter, started fundraising along with her family to raise money for experimental treatment.
The American Association of Neurological Sciences describes Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) as a fast-growing glioma that develops from star-shaped glial cells that support the health of the nerve cells within the brain. GBM is often referred to as a grade IV astrocytoma tumor cells. These are the most invasive type of glial tumors, rapidly growing and commonly spreading into nearby brain tissue.
According to the Mirror, the tumors inside Tricia's brain didn't wait too long to exhibit its effects. She began with some speech problems with "a bit of a stutter" and would get confused while talking. The initially little problem became severe towards the end, the once happy and chatty Tricia could only say "yes" or "no". But she didn't give up. She "fought until her last breath, " said her relatives.
Clare, 37, and her family from Woolton were successful in raising enough funds for Tricia's experimental treatment with the help of some generous people through Go Fund Me. They couldn't wait to help Tricia stay a little longer with her family and immediately moved to Mexico for the treatment. It miraculously improved her condition and the family was hopeful again, Tricia's strength and determination were restored. She was better.
With Tricia's seizures and cancer diagnosis, her entire family, including Clare dedicated their time to look after her and improve her life. But God had other plans. After fighting courageously for 21 months, on June 18, Tricia passed away leaving her family grieving from the loss. "It's just heartbreaking - people tell you to prepare for the worst but how can you prepare to lose your mum?" said Clare, according to Liverpool Echo.
The Mirror reported Clare saying, "We got the money for the treatment, we went to Germany - we were meant to be going to Mexico but she couldn't do the flight. It's 10 hours so it was too much for her so we went to Germany instead."
Even after all their efforts, the inevitable could not be stopped. "Her blood marker was really high, you have a cancer blood marker that tells you how much cancer is in your body and hers was higher than a normal cancer patient's - it came down a bit when we were in Germany and we were going for walks and getting out and about, then we came home and were on lockdown."
The global pandemic added to the struggles of the Scoullar family and Tricia'sbattle against this grim disease. "We couldn't do anything but we never gave up hope and she fought until her last breath," Clare added.
Tricia was loved by everyone and they were there till the end to support her. Clare, her brother Paul, her husband Michael, were all present, surrounding her when she moved on to a world without sufferings. "There was about seven or eight of us close family in the room when she died. She didn't want to leave me and our Paul and our dad," Clare told the Liverpool Echo.
"It's just heartbreaking, there's not enough research into Glioblastoma - when you give donations to the likes of Marie Curie, Macmillan or Cancer Research, only 2% goes directly to brain cancer research so you need to donate directly to brain cancer, " she added.
Clare was definitely proud of her mother and her strength with which she fought this life-threatening disease. She said, "People don't live 12 months with it but she lived 21 months, she's done amazing. But it felt like she was being eaten from the inside and she was trapped in her own body in the end."
Tricia's funeral is planned as a tribute from her daughter and family. Clare was at a loss of words talking about plans for her mother's funeral, she said, "It was absolutely heartbreaking - I think I'm just on autopilot."
Even though the number of attendees for her funeral is in agreement with the government's rule of social distancing keeping the pandemic in mind, the family is making sure that Tricia and her battle to stay longer with her family is remembered.