A “WONDERFUL” young man who “thought he had all the time in the world” died after being struck down by an inoperable brain tumour.
Rock climber Luke Billups (28), who looked forward to settling down and having children, passed away months after the devastating diagnosis.
He will be remembered this weekend at a charity walk that mum Christine hopes will raise awareness of the cancer that is the biggest killer for children and under 40s.
Christine (55) said: “Luke was the best son, he was marvellous. He lived at home with us in Thrybergh and had a great set of friends, who will all be walking on Sunday.”
Christine said she was so proud of her “all rounder” son, who was a business management graduate and talented pianist.
Luke worked in Kilnhurst at dad David’s company as an industrial radiographer and the close-knit pair enjoyed attending real ale festivals together.
She added: “He had everything in place. He thought he had all the time in the world to settle down and have children.”
But former Swinton Comprehensive pupil Luke began suffering from headaches at the start of last year, which his parents put down to stress.
“Little things started happening that he was covering up, like he couldn’t read,” said Christine.
A referral to Rotherham Hospital last May found he had a mass on his brain.
“We thought he was going to be all right, they took him to Sheffield and did a biopsy and found it was inoperable and incurable,” his mum added.
Luke was diagnosed with the most aggressive brain tumour - a grade four inoperable glioblastoma - and his health quickly deteriorated.
“It just systematically took everything he had - speech, sight, social skills,” said Christine. “He was such a well-mannered, wonderful, young man.
“It’s one of the cancers that is nothing to do with how you live your life, he wasn’t a smoker or heavy drinker, he was so precious about his diet. It’s so unfair.
“The tumour was in his frontal lobe, so it was like having Alzheimer’s.”
Since Luke’s death in January, his family are determined to raise awareness about brain tumours and brain cancer and have been raising funds for The Brain Tumour Charity.
Christine said: “Luke’s oncologist said treatment had not changed in 30 years. Nobody is putting anything in to it. It’s the most evil thing that can happen to anybody.”
This time last year, Luke took part in a twilight walk for the charity in Windsor with his friends and family, who wore distinctive hats and dubbed themselves ‘Luke’s Blue Beanie Brigade’.
His brother Richard (32), whose daughters Holly (10) and Abby (8) were very close to Luke, pushed his wheelchair around the 10k course and raised £4,000.
The family has organised a 10k twilight walk for Sunday, which will leave Swinton’s Gate pub - Luke’s former local - at 5.30pm and head to Wath.
Christine encouraged people to come along and get involved. Visit https://bit.ly/2Pe2fBl to make a donation.
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