Grieving St Albans mum supports Wear a Hat Day 2018

Holly Atkins Fooks

Holly Atkins Fooks - Credit: Archant

A grieving St Albans mum is supporting a national fundraising campaign after her young daughter lost a battle against cancer.

Eleven-year-old Holly Atkins Fooks was diagnosed with a highly aggressive brain tumour called glioblastoma multiforme two years ago - she underwent two operations, chemotherapy and radiotherapy to try and get rid of the growth.

But despite this treatment, Holly passed away six months ago.

Her mum, Clare Fooks, 43, is now working with Brain Tumour Research to support Wear a Hat Day 2018. The campaign was launched nine years ago and asks people to don head wear and host events in aid of the charity.

Along with Holly’s best friend, Millie Edwards, and Millie’s mum Karen, Clare travelled to the charity’s HQ in Milton Keynes for the official launch.

Clare said: “This horrible disease kills more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer yet just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to brain tumours.

“The treatments have not progressed in many years and Holly endured surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

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“It is impossible to explain the effect the news that the doctors could only try to extend her life for as long as possible, there was no cure and the end result would be the same.”

She said they spared Holly her prognosis: “Why tell a 10-year-old child she was going to die? It would serve no purpose.

“We, her family, including her 20-year-old brother Bradley, and her friends, had to bear the agony.”

Millie and Holly were friends since they were three years old and were inseparable for much of their lives.

Wear A Hat Day, which is the culmination of Brain Tumour Awareness Month in March, has raised over a million pounds since it was launched.

Funds go towards the charity’s network of world-class brain tumour research centres in the UK.

High profile names supporting Wear A Hat Day 2018 include Debbie McGee, who lost husband Paul Daniels to a brain tumour in 2016, and Sheila Hancock, whose grandson survived a childhood brain tumour.

Find out more at or donate £5 by texting HAT to 70660.