Leyland newlywed dies aged 32 just months after being diagnosed with a brain tumour

More than £41,000 has been raised in memory of a Leyland newlywed who has died three months after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.

By Catherine Musgrove
Thursday, 14th July 2022, 3:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th July 2022, 4:23 pm

Charlotte Nicol died on July 7, having been diagnosed with glioblastoma four months after getting married.

Just days after the heart-breaking news in April, she decided to open up about her experiences and use it as a way to raise money and awareness for Cancer Research UK.

Under the name Zero Sense of Tumour, she set up a Go Fund Me page, and contributions from friends, family and colleagues mean the £50,000 target is now within touching distance.

Charlotte on her wedding day

"It's an insane amount of fundraising" said Fern Downham-Whittle, who has been Charlotte's best friend since the age of 11.

"She wasn't someone who liked a lot of attention before, but about three or four days after she was diagnosed with the tumour, she said to me 'lets set up a Go Fund Me page, we may as well milk it.”

What’s Charlotte's story?

Charlotte grew up in Leyland, attended Wellfield High School and Runshaw College, and worked at Tesco in Towngate before setting off travelling the world.

Charlotte and Fern

Along with Fern, she lived in Australia and then New Zealand, where she met husband James six years ago.

James proposed just before Charlotte left New Zealand for a job with PwC in London in 2019 - just as coronavirus restrictions hit.

Their wedding dreams were thrown into disarray by international travel bans, but they seized the moment on a trip to Antigua at Christmas, marrying in a small, private ceremony.

Fern, 31, said: "She hadn't been married very long when she got Covid.

Charlotte and Fern lived together abroad

"She started having really, really bad headaches and put them down to long Covid.

"She'd seen a doctor, but nothing was really done, and then it all came to a head. She started being dizzy, seeing lights, falling over and she had numbness down one side of her body."

What did tests show?

A CT scan revealed Charlotte had a stage four brain tumour the size of an orange. In the space of six weeks she underwent five brain operations including a craniotomy – which she had to be awake during – that removed 95 per cent of the tumour.

Charlotte and James on their wedding day

"It was a really successful operation", said Fern. “But unfortunately the tumour was super aggressive."

What happened next?

Four weeks ago a scan showed the tumour had grown back.

Fern said: "It was at that point that I think she knew. It's not that she gave up, but it was very clear in her mind what was happening and she decided not to continue with treatment."

She added: "Charlotte’s husband has been amazingly calm and measured throughout everything.

"And she said to me that she didn't have any regrets; that she had done what she wanted to do and had the life she wanted.

Charlotte Nicol

"She didn’t have a boring life – if there was something fun to do, she'd do it."

In the past month Charlotte organised her funeral and said goodbye to loved ones.

Fern said: "She was always a proper little philosopher and she told us to stop worrying about the small things and get on with the things we want to do.

"She dealt with everything in such a dignified way, it was unbelievable.”

Funeral details

Charlotte’s funeral will take place on Thursday, July 28 at Beetham Hall Crematorium.

The couple married in December 2021
Charlotte Nicol, who has died aged 32