Brave Teenager Dies After Cancer Battle

A Dorset teenager praised for his upbeat attitude to fighting terminal cancer has died.

David Langton-Gilks, 16, battled with a brain tumour for five years and in May thought he had beaten the disease.

When he was told he had suffered a relapse and would die in a matter of weeks, he said: ''You can't win them all.''

The teenager, from Fontmell Magna, near Gillingham slipped into a coma at the weekend and died at 6.10am on Tuesday August the 14th.

''He died surrounded by love at home,'' his mother Sacha said in a message posted on Twitter.

Mrs Langton-Gilks, 44, a singing teacher, also revealed on the social networking site that she found her son's will a few days before he died.

David wanted his things shared between his siblings Rufus and Holly, with his collection of jellybeans to go to his younger sister. His ukulele is to go to a family friend.

He also wished to be cremated.

The teenager was told in May that his condition was terminal and he decided he did not want further chemotherapy.

He was keen to make his school prom on June 28 and his mother was able to tell friends and supporters on Twitter that he fulfilled his ambition.

''DD's DONE it! Grinning in black tie by pristine black limo on our dirty, bumpy farm track,'' she posted that night.

David's bravery in living with cancer was recognised by the school as he won the prize for most optimistic person at the prom.

His parents Toby and Sacha are campaigning to make other parents aware of the symptoms of brain tumours, which are often confused with non-life-threatening conditions. Mrs Langton-Gilks wants to get HeadSmart symptom cards into every school in the country.

''My son was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, the commonest cancerous brain tumour in children in October 2007,'' she said.

''Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer in children by a significant margin and a quarter of children's cancers are in the brain. I had no idea. If I had had HeadSmart's little symptoms card, I could have spotted the signs much earlier and probably saved him seven brain operations.''

In the UK, 500 children are diagnosed with brain tumours each year, around the same number as meningitis cases. More children and people under the age of 40 die of a brain tumour than any other cancer but few parents are aware of the danger signs.

Symptoms include persistent vomiting, headaches, changes in mood and behaviour, and abnormal eye movements.