Jake, whose friends and family threw him a surprise party, with his sister Sophie

Surprise party for north Suffolk teen battling a brain tumour

By Rebecca Gough
Thursday, February 21, 2013
9.56 AM

A teenager who is battling a brain tumour was given a surprise when his friends and family organised a party for him.

Jake Snowling, 15, was diagnosed with the condition in November 2011, and has consequently missed time at school.

In a bid to bring a smile to his face and reunite him with his classmates, his parents, Donna and Mark Snowling, sister Sophie, aunt Teresa, the rest of his family and his friends organised the event at Hartismere High in Eye.

Entertainment included local band Walkway, which Sophie, 13, performed with and which waived its usual fee, while guests featured almost the entire school year 11.

Teresa Snowling, 42, of Bryars Lane, Diss, said: “He was missing his friends quite a lot and it’s a difficult age and I felt because he’d missed a lot of time with his friends it was a way to get them all together.

“I wanted to see him smile with his mates – he’s been really brave and he’s an inspiration. He’s always been strong and never complained about any of it. We just try to do things for him that he can look forward to.”

Jake and his family first began to notice that something was wrong when one of his eyes began to turn outwards slightly.

The teenager visited an optician and was sent straight to the accident and emergency department at the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds.

The next day he was admitted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge and that afternoon was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Within six weeks he had undergone an operation to remove part of the tumour, and this was followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

He is now managing the condition with medication at his Redgrave home.

His mother, Donna, said the diagnosis had been unexpected and added: “It was a shock for a little while and we were trying to get our heads around it but the best way to cope is to stay positive – positive minds make positive people. We just take each day at a time, and he’s well at the moment.”

The family said it had also received support from East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices.