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

Patient whose treatment was cut short by COVID-19 campaigns for change

A brain tumour patient whose pioneering treatment abroad was curtailed by tumour progression and lockdown restrictions is campaigning for better outcomes for patients.

Ria Melvin was diagnosed with a grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) after she collapsed on holiday in December 2018, aged 23. She has endured two resections, including an awake craniotomy, followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment.

Knowing that her options on the NHS were limited, Ria and her family raised £170,000 to fund immunotherapy treatment at a clinic in Germany. In August 2020, she began immunogenic cell death therapy (ICD), but just a few months later her treatment was thwarted when a scan revealed tumour progression. Due to her physical deterioration, complicated by COVID-19 restrictions, she is unable to return to Germany to continue the treatment.

Now, Ria is working with Brain Tumour Research to share her story to raise awareness and was interviewed on BBC Radio Essex where she spoke about her campaigning with the charity. She is also taking part in Wear A Hat Day tomorrow with her colleagues at Essex Police, where she works in a civilian role.

She said: “I am working with Brain Tumour Research and campaigning. I have spoken to my MP Alex Burghart, who is the parliamentary private secretary to the Prime Minister, about the desperate need to increase the national investment into brain tumour research and it gives me a real sense of purpose, knowing I am helping others in my situation.”

If, like Ria, you would like to campaign with us, please click here to find out more.

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