Podcast: Ashleigh Hunter: Me and My Dad

In this heartfelt episode of Aunty M Brain Tumours Talk Show, we delve into Ashleigh’s journey of coping with her father’s long battle with cancer, which ultimately led to a devastating diagnosis of brain cancer. Ashleigh shares the emotional rollercoaster of her father’s initial diagnosis of thyroid cancer, the subsequent spread to his lungs, and the final discovery of brain tumours after he started exhibiting symptoms like severe headaches, memory issues, and mood swings. Despite the challenges, Ashleigh talks about the resilience and strength her father demonstrated, his desire to maintain his independence, and how these experiences influenced her path of grief and healing.


Detailed Show Notes

Introduction to Ashleigh’s Story:

Ashleigh opens up about her father’s unexpected thyroid cancer diagnosis, the shock of discovering it had spread to his lungs, and how it was managed as a stable condition for years.

The Turning Point:

The narrative takes a turning point as Ashleigh recounts the emergence of concerning symptoms that led her to insist on a brain scan for her father, despite doctors’ initial resistance. This scan revealed eight brain tumours, marking a significant shift in her father’s battle with cancer.

Coping with the Diagnosis:

Ashleigh describes the emotional and practical adjustments her family made following the diagnosis of brain cancer, including her father’s decision against aggressive treatment in favour of quality of life. She shares the impact of this period on her father’s sense of self and the activities that gave him strength and purpose.

Grief and Support:

The discussion moves to Ashleigh’s experience with grief, particularly in the aftermath of her father’s passing during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. She speaks candidly about the challenges of mourning in isolation and the eventual steps she took towards finding support and solace.

‘A Different Day’:

Ashleigh introduces her book, “A Different Day,” inspired by her journey of loss, healing, and the profound connection with her puppy, Lilo. She explains how the book aims to help children navigate grief with a narrative that incorporates her family’s symbols of remembrance and the therapeutic presence of animals.


A Mission to Support Brain Tumour Research:

Ashleigh is determined to contribute to brain tumour research, sharing her fundraising efforts and the goal to ‘sponsor a day of research’ in her father’s name. She reflects on the importance of raising awareness and supporting those facing similar trials.

Personal Reflections and Legacy:

The episode concludes with Ashleigh’s reflections on her father’s legacy, her process of healing, and the diverse ways people cope with loss. She emphasizes the importance of open conversations about grief and the impact of her father’s ethos of living fully despite his illness.

Closing Thoughts:

Ashleigh expresses gratitude for the opportunity to share her story and the therapeutic value of remembering and honouring her father. She highlights the significance of support, understanding, and acceptance in navigating the journey of grief.



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