A WOMAN feels “helpless” after losing three family members to the same horror brain tumour.

Claire Cordiner had her family ripped apart after losing her mum and her sister to a glioblastoma (GBM) a year apart, and now her teenage nephew is on end-of-life care with the same tumour.

The devastating odds are “less than one in a billion” leaving Claire heartbroken and anxious for the future.

Her mum Margaret O’Kane, 66, from Wishaw, died in October 2008 before her younger sister Angie Jones, from East Kilbride, passed away in December 2009, when she was just 36.

Glasgow Times: Claire and MaxClaire and Max (Image: Sourced)

Tragically Angie’s only child, Max Jones, 18, was then diagnosed with a GBM in June 2022.

Claire, 54, said: “Brain tumours have absolutely devastated our family.

“They are so unpredictable and can affect anyone at any age.

“I felt totally helpless not being able to do anything for my mum and Angie, and I feel helpless now for my nephew Max.”

Claire, who grew up in Wishaw, is taking part in Wear A Hat Day for Brain Tumour Research on March 31 to raise funds to help find a cure for the disease.

Dr Karen Noble, director of research, policy, and innovation at Brain Tumour Research, said: “To have three generations of one family diagnosed with the same deadly brain tumour is extremely rare; less than a one in a billion chance.

Glasgow Times: Angie died after doctors found a brain tumourAngie died after doctors found a brain tumour (Image: Sourced)

Glasgow Times: Margaret with AngieMargaret with Angie (Image: Sourced)

“We occasionally hear of instances where siblings are diagnosed, but this is the first case of its kind we have been made aware of.

“Currently there is little evidence these tumours are hereditary, but evidently more research is desperately needed.”

In 2004, Angie started getting pains in her legs and experienced “jerking movements” in her arms.

Her GP sent her to University Hospital Hairmyres in East Kilbride where an MRI scan revealed the tumour.

Glasgow Times: Margaret O’Kane, 66, from Wishaw, died in October 2008Margaret O’Kane, 66, from Wishaw, died in October 2008 (Image: Sourced)

Glasgow Times: Max was struck down by the same tumour Max was struck down by the same tumour (Image: Sourced)

In November 2009, Angie was told no more treatment was available to her. On December 4, 2009, she died at home with her husband Kevin by her side.

In June 2022 Angie’s son, Max, from East Kilbride started being sick a lot and getting pains in his legs.

Glasgow Times: Max is only 18-years-oldMax is only 18-years-old (Image: Sourced)

Glasgow Times: Claire is taking part in wear a hat dayClaire is taking part in wear a hat day (Image: Sourced)

The pain became so unbearable he went to University Hospital Hairmyres where a CT and MRI scan discovered the tumour on his brain.

He underwent surgery to remove the tumour at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow before being transferred to The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre in Glasgow for treatment.


Claire said: “I couldn’t believe it, especially because Max is so young. He was a healthy young man so it was totally unexpected.

“He was doing okay for a while but he ended up back in hospital in January 2023. Two more tumours were found, one on his brain and one on his spine, so the treatment obviously wasn’t working.

“Max is now on end-of-life care at Kilbryde Hospice.”

The theme of this year’s Wear A Hat Day is to look super for science. People are invited to pop a hat on and make a donation here.

You can even take a selfie to share on social media using #WearAHatDay.