Friend who shared Gordon Browne's 'cancer journey' in fundraising vow
A Co Antrim woman diagnosed with the same type of brain tumour that claimed the life of Carrick man Gordon Browne vowed yesterday to continue to raise funds for charity in her late friend's memory.
Father-of two Mr Browne (42), known as 'Gordy', passed away on Monday, exactly two years after he collapsed while playing in a cricket game.
He leaves behind wife Rae and daughters Lola (7) and Ruby (4).
Mr Browne was the president of Carrickfergus Cricket Club, and in his honour more than a hundred of his teammates, friends and family gathered to celebrate his life at their clubhouse yesterday evening.
Among them was Whiteabbey woman Julie Adams, whose father Alex is a former club member.
The mother-of-one, who enjoyed coming to the club as a child, was told she had a grade four glioblastoma a month after Mr Browne received the same diagnosis.
Their club connection led to Ms Adams contacting Mr Browne via social media and from that point onwards the 37-year-old said that she could reach out to him for support.
"Gordon was one month ahead of me in terms of the same diagnosis to me," she explained.
"I could message him and ask him for help.
"Our medication had to be taken in a particular way at particular times, and if I was feeling sick after taking tablets I could message him for help.
"I could ask him: 'What way are you taking your tablets?'. We even had the same surgeon, Dr Tom Flannery at the Royal.
"I was in hospital when Gordy got the results of his tumour from his own surgery.
"Gordy was a great support to me and from his own experiences I could gauge my treatment."
The civil servant vowed to continue the charity efforts of Mr Browne, who had raised thousands of pounds while undergoing his treatment, as a way of honouring the popular cricket player's memory. Last autumn the pair teamed up to raise funds for Friends of the Cancer Centre and Brainwaves NI by holding a charity evening at the clubhouse.
Now Ms Adams is planning on organising another cricket club fundraiser with the support of Mr Browne's team-mates and relatives some time in the coming months.
"All of my tumour was removed and I've finished my treatment but I'm still classed as having cancer, so that's also why I want to get involved," she said.
"Gordy lived the journey with me. On Monday I was just in a daze. It was absolutely devastating. Gordy was very, very well thought of. He showed great support to me and I shared that journey with him."
Meanwhile, a Justgiving page established by Mr Browne's sister Gillian Hunt has raised close to £2,000 for Brainwaves NI.
On the page Ms Hunt said that her brother did not want a "big fuss made when he died", but instead wanted his fundraising work to continue.
In accordance with Mr Browne's wishes, a private funeral service has been organised by his family.