Bolton trade analyst battles brain tumor

Like many 30-somethings, Simon Barlow-Smyth enjoyed socializing and planning his future.

But her hopes were suddenly ‘derailed’ when Simon, from Stoneclough, received the devastating diagnosis of an inoperable brain tumour.

Now 37, he was diagnosed in 2016 after falling after finishing a training session.

The business analyst underwent surgery three times, one of which included the removal of part of his skull.

And the tumor would have reached a “satisfactory” level of 30% in 2018. He even rang the bell to celebrate that the treatment had been a success.

But just over a month ago, Simon received the shocking news that the tumor is growing and the cancer is classified as stage four.

The effect of the condition left him in a wheelchair.

He told The Bolton News: “In the seven weeks since my devastating news, my mobility and motor skills continued to decline gradually and I had two quite nasty falls at home.

(Shay and Simon Barlow-Smyth)

“Going up and down stairs especially for me has become quite a terrifying ordeal because I’m so scared of falling and being seriously injured.”

In January of this year, Simon noticed a loss of power on the left side of his body, almost making it impossible for him to walk, get up, get down or even get dressed.

Simon said: “It took me away from doing simple things that I already loved – mainly socializing with friends as I feel it’s all changed me mentally and certainly in terms of confidence to just hang out as I I’ve had chronic pain, imbalance and balance issues since 2016 – all now much worse.

“I was preparing for a career change just when my tumor diagnosis derailed my life in 2016.”

Now the family is fundraising for a stairlift and a bathroom to help with basic chores.

Bolton News:

Simon Barlow-Smyth with his goddaughter Grace Greenwood and mother Debra Barlow

His mother, Debra Barlow, said: “It’s your child, isn’t it? And you just want to take it all away.

“It’s amazing and I’m trying to do everything I can for brain tumor research now, to raise awareness and funds for it.

“As a mother you are on a roller coaster when something like this happens to your son. But Simon is always so positive, that when I’m in the hospital with him, I just think I have to stay strong for him.

Debra said: ‘He can’t really use the bathroom or the stairs well.

“We’ve spoken to council but there’s a waiting list before anyone even comes to look at it and there’s a two-month backlog.

“Then it’s another 18 months of waiting to do it and we just want to help it.”

Simon now lives in Fallowfield with her husband, Shay Barlow-Smyth to be closer to Christie’s Hospital, while mum Debra still lives in Stoneclough.

To support the family, visit the Go Fund Me page here. (

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