Tributes to Whittlesey dad who put a smile on faces while fighting brain tumour

The family of a Whittlesey man who bravely battled cancer - while putting a smile on hundreds of people's faces - have paid tribute after he passed away.

Martin Brunning
Martin Brunning

Martin Brunning was diagnosed with having the Glioma tumour at the end of 2018, and sadly passed away last month.

But during his two year fight, Martin was able look on the bright side, and keep people up to date with his progress - and entertained - on his Facebook site 'Cyril the A******e' - which was also the name he gave to his tumour.

Hundreds of people followed the blog, through the ups and downs - something that gave comfort to Martin's family, wife Susie and daughters Meg Ivy and Gabrielle.

Martin would often make jokes about the situation he was in, despite the terrible diagnosis.

His death was announced on his blog with a post that said: "Our Martin passed away this morning at 3:12am, in hospital, with family by his side every step of the way.

"We would like to say thank you to every single person who has aided Martin on his journey, specifically to the doctors, nurses, consultants, ambulance paramedics and you.

"Martin has had great joy being able to talk about his journey with you all, as well as write about it too. He started this blog, with an intense need to help others through what he was going through and to be that person that people could come too. All he wanted was to provide love and courage for others who were in the same position.

"We thank you for providing him with strength, love and care and we appreciate all of the lovely messages and help you have all given us over these last few years.

"Thank you for always being here for him, when he needed someone to talk too and for always listening to his rambles (which we all know he loved to do a lot)! Don't forget the Dad jokes too, I swear he was the person who created them.

"We don't know what else to say, all we can say is thank you."

Following the announcement, there were more than 200 comments from people from across the world who had followed the blog, paying tribute to Martin - and explaining how his humour had helped them deal with similar issues.

Now his family have shared some of their favourite memories of their 'best friend' and 'side kick.'

Susie said: "Martin had this sort of aura about him that would stick to you like glue, if you got close enough. He had a way about him that would command attention off anyone. "Martin always wanted to be an author, but he never thought he would be talking about his life. He was always too scared to sit down and write, before the Cancer came and I suppose forced him too.

"I had not realised how many people he had touched with his blog, until me and the Girls had to say those dreaded words that he had passed away.

"Martin had a love of music, like no other. He worked in a record shop for a while, as happy as he could be, listening to music all day without any interruptions, apart from the few customers who would come in and out of the shop.

"Music was a part of his life, the only thing that seemed to keep him together at times. He loved Marillion, Simple Minds, Pink Floyd. He shared this passion through the girls, who are equally as obsessed with music.

"From a very early age, that was something we had in common and the house is full of records and CD’s everywhere. He was fortunate enough to do a radio show, something he had always wanted to do and loved.

"His singing was far better than mine, at least his didn’t bring the cats out as an audience. There would be times where we would have a running joke with each other, me telling him that he’s playing his depressing music again, or as Martin would self-title it, his meaningful music, while calling mine horrid. I miss my best friend and I’ll love you until the very end."

Meg added: "I keep remembering all of these things, like how when I was younger you would make birthday cakes for me, that looked like whoever I was obsessed with, mostly being the characters from the Tweenies, because the Tweenies really were my life when I was a toddler. Who knew someone could love them so much? Not me. Anyways.

"And then when I got older, the character cakes would turn into gallery days where we would explore galleries and you would pretend to be the tour guide, making up facts about the paintings, while I would pretend to not see your phone in your hand, Google set on standby, as I let you tell me all of these ridiculous facts.

"I’ll give you that, your imagination was always so fascinating. Maybe thats where I got it from.

"Anyways, you’re my best friend and you’ll be my best friend until the end. I hope that I can make you proud. I love you, I miss you, always. Rest in peace, I mean it, okay?"

Gabrielle said: "I’m going to miss my side kick, even if you were a little annoying at times. I really miss sitting with you while you would watch Formula One, a beer in your hand, an apple juice in mine (you used to say that it looked like beer so I wouldn’t feel left out).

"Dad loved comedians so much, that he thought he was one, to the point where he would tell me and Meg jokes, as if he was doing a real live show. They may never have made much sense and he would normally follow some of them with “when you’re older you’ll understand”, but we would still laugh anyways, just so he would join in.

"I love and miss you, you were the best side kick ever. Rest in peace X"

You can visit the blog here