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

Mum-of-two remembered at a concert to raise awareness of brain tumours

A mum-of-two from South London, who died just minutes after marrying the love of her life, was the inspiration for a concert to raise awareness of brain tumours.

Louise Simonsen, who worked for a homeless outreach service, was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain tumour in November 2018, aged just 41. Louise died nine months later, on the day she married her long-term partner, Shaff Prabatani, 49. The couple lived together with their two daughters, Alia aged nine and seven-year-old Hannah Sofia.

On 26 January Louise’s sister-in-law, Shelina Prabatani, hosted a concert in her memory, raising £2,000 for Brain Tumour Research. The event at Harrow Arts Centre in London was an evening of Sufi, Fusion, Classical & Ghazal, featuring acclaimed Indian classical and fusion musician, Deepak Pandit.

Shelina, who was at Louise’s bedside when she died on 12 August 2019, said: “I was really honoured to host this one-off evening of musical entertainment to raise money in memory of my dear sister-in-law.

“My precious nieces lost their mummy in such a cruel way. People need to know that brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer… yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research is allocated to this devastating disease”.

Since Louise’s tragic death, Shelina has channelled her grief into fundraising. In September she galvanised a group of supporters to join Battersea Park Walk of Hope,raising £7,500 to help find a cure for the disease.

Janice Wright, community fundraising manager for Brain Tumour Research in London said: “We are extremely grateful to Shelina for continuing in her mission to fundraise in memory of her sister-in-law, Louise. Louise’s desperately tragic story reminds us that brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age. Together we will find a cure.” 

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