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

Patient crowdfunding for private treatment

A brain tumour patient says her “only hope” is to ask strangers for donations to help her get private treatment after NHS doctors said there was nothing further they could do for her.

Katie Symmons was diagnosed with a grade 3 meningioma in 2014, aged 30. She has undergone two craniotomies and radiotherapy, and has spent months learning to regain her ability to walk and speak. Devastatingly, this year she learnt she has two new tumours and that the original tumour is growing again. This time surgery is not an option and Katie has been told she has months to live.

Katie is now crowdfunding to access private treatment which she hopes will help her reach the age of 40 and spend more time with her husband Steven (pictured with Katie).

She said: “I have been told that there are no further treatment options on the NHS and my only hope is to pay privately to get the chemotherapy drug Avastin which is prescribed for other types of cancer but not licensed for brain tumours. It’s costing me £6,900 for each three-week cycle of treatment, a huge sum which we can’t afford as I am no longer able to work and Steven is my full-time carer; so, I am being made to urge strangers for donations to extend my life. That can’t be fair, can it?”

Hugh Adams, our Head of Stakeholder Relations said: “We were very sorry to learn about Katie’s diagnosis and wish her all the best in her efforts to raise funds to access private treatment now that her options on the NHS have run out.

“More must be done to develop treatments and improve outcomes for patients like Katie. We desperately need to increase investment in research into brain tumours, so that patients don’t have to resort to raising thousands of pounds to access private treatment. It’s only through research that we will find more effective treatments for brain tumour patients and, ultimately, a cure.”

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