Newtownabbey couple say ‘thank-you’ to Brainwaves NI with Wear a Hat fundraiser

One year on from a life-changing tumour diagnosis, a Newtownabbey man has helped to raise money for a charity close to his heart.

Alan and Joanne Coates raised £2000 through a ‘Wear a Hat Day’ to thank Brainwaves NI for the support it has offered them.

The charity’s chairperson, Colin McMillan and committee member, Jennifer Arbuthnot, met with Joanne and Alan for the cheque presentation at Hazelbank recently.

Alan said: “On behalf of my wife Joanne and myself we would just like to donate this cheque to Brainwaves NI after Joanne ran a fundraising event on the 3rd of April 2021, exactly a year after I was diagnosed with a brain tumour and had been diagnosed with epilepsy a week or so earlier, which, of course, changed not only my life but my family’s life forever.

Brainwaves NI chairperson Colin McMillan and committee member Jennifer Arbuthnot with Alan and Joanne Coates, from Newtownabbey, who raised £2000 for the charity with a fundraising event.

“We would just like to thank everybody who donated, it really is very much appreciated.

“So much has changed for me over the last 14 months but after months of wondering what, where and why, I decided to not let this diagnosis rule my life, so slowly but surely I have made positive steps forward by making changes to myself basically in any way possible I think might benefit me.

“I would just like to thank Brainwaves NI who are fantastic in supporting families affected by brain tumours and to everybody who fund raises, as much more research is needed in the fight against brain tumours.”

Brainwaves NI is a volunteer-led charity dedicated to providing support and information to all those affected by a brain tumour: patients, families and carers.

Around 16,000 people are diagnosed with a brain tumour in the UK every year. For more information about the charity, visit


Click here to read: Quick-thinking Newtownabbey girl called 999 as dad fought Covid


Thank you for reading this article. We’re more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers. Please consider purchasing a copy of the paper. You can also support trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription of the News Letter.