Tributes to inspirational teenager who died from cancer

A Northumberland grandfather has paid tribute to his inspirational grandson who died from cancer.

Monday, 20th September 2021, 9:00 am
Alan Holmes during his North Sea swimming challenge.

Matthew Pullan, died at home in Bury, surrounding by his loved ones, including his twin brother Alex, his dad Gary and his 15-year-old brother, Mark. Matthew also leaves behind his step-mum Claire and younger brother Samuel.

Matthew was first diagnosed with an ependymoma brain tumour when he was just three years old, going through 30 gruelling sessions of radiotherapy to enjoy several years of stable MRI scans.

However, all of that changed in June 2020, when Matthew was diagnosed with a new tumour in the cerebellum part of his brain with doctors saying his prognosis was ‘poor’.

Alan Holmes (right) with his grandsons Alex (left), Daniel and Matthew (second right).

After undergoing radiotherapy and chemotherapy, he inspired his grandfather Alan Holmes, from Bedlington, to raise money for Brain Tumour Research.

In January, the 72-year-old began a year-long North Sea swimming challenge, raising £7,300 to date.

Unfortunately, in recent weeks, Matthew’s disease progressed and new tumours were discovered in his spine before the devastating news the cancer had spread to other parts of his brain.

Just days later his dad shared the news on Facebook: “Sadly at 17.33pm Matthew Pullan my eldest son was taken by the indiscriminate disease that is cancer. He joins his Mum who’s birthday would have been tomorrow. He behaved with dignity and personality throughout and we will always be proud of him.”

Adding to the tributes, Matthew’s granddad Alan wrote: “My wonderful grandson Matthew finally lost his battle with cancer earlier this evening. He is now with his mum. May you rest in peace.”

Gary added: “We are so proud of all Matthew achieved and vow to continue supporting Brain Tumour Research in his honour. Matthew’s motto was: ‘life is terminal – it is our job to live it'.

"I, for one, will try my very best to embody this amazing positivity, in memory of my beloved son.”

Hugh Adams, head of stakeholder relations at Brain Tumour Research, said: “Our heartfelt condolences go to Matthew’s family and all those who knew and loved him.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of such an inspirational young man with an incredible spirit, that will live on. He achieved so much in his young life but he should have had the opportunity to go on and achieve more.”