Former Big Issue Invest CEO James Fairweather’s dogged fight against a life-changing cancer has brought an emotional tribute from Big Issue Group chair Nigel Kershaw.
In the Big Issue next week, and here on bigissue.com, we carry James’s story in his words. The 61-year-old was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour in May. It came from nowhere and has brought a brutal regime of radiation treatment and a life-shattering change of circumstances for the previously active, outdoor-loving young grandfather.
His wife Mary told us, the cancer has “carpet-bombed our lives”.
Nigel Kershaw and James worked together as chair and chief executive to scale up Big Issue Invest several years ago and his legacy remains in the impact that Big Issue Invest makes for so many people.
“One of James’s first thoughts when he told me the devastating news about his diagnosis was how he could help others,” said Kershaw. “He wanted to tell his story so that a light could be shone on brain cancer and, that perhaps by doing so, he could help bring in more funds for research. It is such a terrible cancer and remains one of the most chronically underfunded in research and treatment.”
James said he was “lucky” to have access to medical treatment, as patients face a “postcode lottery around the UK”. He expressed particular concern for Big Issue vendors, who often face barriers to healthcare.