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

Devoted daughter’s whacky charity challenges inspired by father’s brain tumour diagnosis

A devoted daughter is taking on a series of whacky challenges including numerous cartwheels, squats, painting and climbing flights of stairs, to help find a cure for brain tumours.

Twenty-seven-year-old Mema Nackasha’s novel approach to fundraising during lockdown is inspired by her father who has a brain tumour. Wajdi Nackasha, 70, a Consultant Paediatrician who continues to work for his beloved NHS, was first diagnosed when Mema was a teenager and underwent surgery and follow-up treatment. Last year the West Byfleet family were shocked to be told that the tumour had returned and was now classified as an aggressive glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) which carries a bleak prognosis.

Mema, an Account Executive for Blackbaud, has been “astounded” by the response to her fundraiser which has so far raised more than £4,000 for Brain Tumour Research. She is now in the final stretch of her 26-day challenge. The theme of her activities is inspired by The 2.6 Challenge, a national fundraising initiative to help charities whose income has been badly hit by the loss of events such as the London Marathon which, this year, should have taken place on 26 April.

She said: “My baba is crazily kind, compassionate and incredibly intelligent. He is wonderful, he is still fighting and he is the strongest man I have ever known. We were all completely staggered to learn that his brain tumour had come back and, this time, it was the worst news possible. But maybe, just maybe, if we raise more funds for research, one day a family will be given more precious time with their loved one.”

Ticked off her impressive list so far are a 26 hour silence, listening to ABBA’s Dancing Queen 26 consecutive times, scooter-ing 26km and cooking a meal with 26 store cupboard ingredients. Still to come are a 2.6 minute plank, 2.6 hours of meditation, staying awake for 26 hours and complimenting 26 strangers.

Follow her progress on our social media this week.

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