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National brain tumour research funding needs to increase to £30-35 million a year

Family honour young teen lost to brain cancer

The Gardiner family from Buckinghamshire were at our Research Centre at Queen Mary University of London yesterday where they are sponsoring a researcher over the next five years to help find a cure for the disease which took their 13-year-old son Ollie.

Ollie passed away in November 2017, two and a half years after he was first diagnosed with a high-grade medulloblastoma brain tumour. Having initially been diagnosed with a tummy bug, an MRI scan revealed a mass the size of a golf ball.

Despite surgery, emergency craniotomies, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, Ollie’s cancer returned and was found to have spread throughout his brain and into his spine. Ollie’s family and friends launched an appeal which raised almost £500,000 to fund pioneering treatment, but nothing could save Ollie.

Last year his parents, Jane and Peter, donated £187,500 to Brain Tumour Research to fund a postdoctoral research assistant helping to develop new treatment strategies to inhibit the progression of aggressive medulloblastoma – the most common brain cancer seen in young children.

Yesterday, accompanied by Ollie’s brother Theo, Jane and Peter toured the labs where they met lead researcher at QMUL, Professor Silvia Marino, who spoke about the latest cutting-edge research into medulloblastoma, and put up 12 tiles on the Wall of Hope. The family will be placing further tiles at Brain Tumour Research’s other Centres across the UK representing 48 days of research in Ollie’s memory.

Peter Gardiner said: “I sincerely hope our donation leads to a greater understanding of medulloblastoma and better outcomes for children with this terrible condition.”

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