Brain cancer patient Amani Liaquat passes away at 23

Amani Liaquat

Brain cancer patient Amani Liaquat has passed away, aged 23, at her home in Luton in the early hours of this morning.

The tragic news was announced on Twitter by her father, Khuram, who wrote: “Our beautiful daughter Amani breathed her last this morning at 12.30am. She fought GBM4 (grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme) for 22 months but alas without proper investment, she had no chance. She’s my hero and was the most amazing ambassador for Brain Tumour Research. Love you forever Amani!”

Amani, a first class honours law graduate who was recently awarded a Masters degree in Applied Social Welfare, was diagnosed with a grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) after suffering a seizure at home on her 22nd birthday in April 2020.

After standard care failed to stop the growth of her tumour, her family decided to source life-prolonging treatment from Germany for which they raised more than £100,000 in 24 hours.

Brain Tumour Research said Amani was “an integral part of our #BrainTumourPetition and Stop the Devastation campaigns. She also undertook numerous fundraising and campaigning activities, including organising Luton’s first ever Walk of Hope and setting up the Fight4Hope fundraising group.

“Her candid Chat2Amani podcasts were also well-received with thousands of people tuning in to follow her brain tumour journey as she explored issues such as loneliness and faith and, in one episode, interviewed Tom Parker, The Wanted singer and fellow GBM patient.

Hugh Adams, Head of Stakeholder Relations, said: “This tragic news has had a huge impact on those of us at Brain Tumour Research who had the privilege to know Amani and her extraordinary family. Amani’s story touched everyone who heard it, and that she was prepared to share so much of herself with others speaks volumes of the person she was.

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“We cannot overstate just how many people now know about this vicious disease through Amani’s bravery and her commitment to make a difference by campaigning and raising awareness. She and her family spoke out at a time when it would have been easier for them to retreat and for that, along with our sadness, we have such respect and admiration for this remarkable young woman who has left us far too soon. Her legacy will be with us and drive us on to find a cure for brain tumours.”

The eldest of three sisters, Amani was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour after collapsing at home on her 22nd birthday in April 2020.

Her father Khuram told Brain Tumour Research: “Our lives changed forever the day that our beloved daughter Amani collapsed at home after suffering her first ever seizure. It was 29 April 2020, her 22nd birthday and the UK, and the rest of the world, was learning to live with dramatic changes brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Just a matter of hours after the seizure, we were given the awful news that Amani had a brain tumour. She spent four days at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital before being transferred to the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery at Queen Square, London, for a biopsy. She spent a further eight days there during which time she had numerous scans and exploratory surgery which left her with 15 staples in her head. Due to Covid restrictions on visiting, she had to deal with all of that and difficult conversations with medical professionals all by herself. Amani coped amazingly well and was finally discharged on 10 May.

“As horrendous as all that was, the worst was still to come when, two days later, we were given the news that Amani’s tumour was a grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) with H3K27 mutation, which was cancerous and inoperable…

Distressingly, the treatment options for this particular tumour are very limited. However, on 26 May, Amani started the standard protocol of six weeks of radiotherapy combined with a low-dose chemotherapy drug. But following a positive Covid-19 test, in her first week of treatment, the chemo had to be delayed for a week. With all the family suffering from the virus and still in shock from Amani’s diagnosis, it was the most gruelling time any of us have ever experienced.

“On top of all of this, Amani had to deal with difficult times in her personal life when her fiancé decided he no longer wanted to go ahead with their planned September wedding. Helpless and heartbroken, we watched our daughter decline physically, neurologically, mentally and emotionally.

“The implications of a brain cancer diagnosis are far more wide-reaching than one can imagine. Amani’s whole life was turned upside down in a matter of one month.

“Due to her illness, her studies and pursuit of her dream career was abruptly put on halt, her future plans in her own personal life were snatched away and all this while she was trying to deal with the uncertainty of her own health. The burden of such a change proved too much for Amani and for several months our daughter was a mere shadow of her former self.”

If you have been touched by Amani’s story, please donate to the Fight4Hope JustGiving page:

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