Milton Keynes mum-of-three takes on charity challenge in sister's memory

Teresa is taking part in Brain Tumour Research charity’s 10,000 Steps a Day in February Challenge

By Olga Norford
Thursday, 20th January 2022, 11:08 am

A mum-of-three from is preparing to step out for charity in memory of her beloved sister who lost her life to a brain tumor.

Teresa Smith’s older sister, Sue Hughes, who was ‘like a second mum’ to her, died in November 2015, just three months after being diagnosed with a grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). She was 55 years old.

She had showed no signs of illness during a family party in May 2015 but was noticeably acting out of character three months later.

Teresa Smith is raising funds for charity in memory of her beloved sister who lost her life to a brain tumor

Teresa, of Woburn Sands, said: “In August 2015 Sue’s daughter had her second child and we all went for the christening. Mum and Dad went up early and said ‘something’s not right with Sue’. She didn’t talk, she looked at us strangely and she didn’t hold the baby. It was really weird and just not like Sue.”

Sue, of Goostrey in Cheshire, worked in catering and as a nursery assistant before realising her dream of opening a dress shop. It is only when she went for a check-up after suffering with tiredness and headaches that her butterfly-shaped brain tumour was discovered.

She was given a prognosis of 12-18 months but died within a matter of months, leaving behind a husband, three children and two grandchildren.

Teresa, a restaurant worker at Woburn Sands Emporium, said: “Sue was like a second mum to me, really. When we were younger, she’d pick me up from school and take me shopping whenever Mum was at work. She was so caring towards children and just a relaxed, calm, placid person who took everything in her stride.”

Teresa is to taking part in the Brain Tumour Research charity’s 10,000 Steps a Day in February Challenge, in her sister’s memory

Now the 55-year-old is preparing to take part in the Brain Tumour Research charity’s 10,000 Steps a Day in February Challenge in her sister’s memory.

Teresa, who also hosts annual Christmas lights events to raise funds for the charity, said: “Work’s only a 10-minute walk away but I’m not a great time-keeper and I do sometimes get in the car if I’m running late so I’m going to try and not jump in the car and walk instead.

“I’ve got arthritis in one of my knees and am going to be having a knee replacement so I’ll be struggling a bit with that but I’ll do it. I’m quite determined like that.”

After a successful first challenge a year ago which raised nearly £1 million to support vital research and campaigning, Brain Tumour Research’s 10,000 Steps a Day in February Challenge is back. The charity is calling for people to step up to the Facebook challenge and make it even bigger and better in 2022. Participants will receive a free emoji t-shirt and fundraising pack when they receive their first donation and a special medal if they raise £274 or more.

Sue Hughes died of a brain tumour in November 2015, just three months after being diagnosed with a grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme (GBM)

Charlie Allsebrook, community development manager for Brain Tumour Research, which is based in Milton Keynes, said: “We were very sorry to hear about Sue’s short illness. Too many families are being devastated by this awful disease. We will continue to fund vital research into brain tumours so that those faced with a shocking brain tumour diagnosis will have better treatment options and, ultimately, a cure. We’re very grateful for Teresa’s continued support and wish her the best of luck with her challenge.”

Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer yet historically just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.

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.

To support Teresa’s fundraiser, visit