National brain tumour research funding needs to increase to £35 million a year
Teenager’s legacy now £200,000
Fundraising in memory of Ollie Gardiner, lost to a medulloblastoma in 2017, aged 13, has reached an incredible £200,000. Enough to sponsor the equivalent of almost 73 days of research, this amazing total has been reached following a generous donation from Ollie’s parents on what would have been his 19th birthday last month.
Jane and Peter’s eldest son was diagnosed in May 2015, aged 10. Despite treatment, including emergency craniotomies, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, by September 2016, the cancer had spread all over his brain and into his spine. It was decided that Ollie would have oral chemotherapy to extend his life. Meanwhile Peter (pictured with Ollie in hospital) was desperately researching alternative treatments abroad.
Along with friends, the Gardiners launched an appeal among their community to help pay for pioneering treatment which raised almost £500,000.
Peter said: “We can never repay the love and support we were shown by our wonderful community for everything which was done, including events we knew nothing about.”
Although Ollie had a chemotherapy drug injected directly into his brain fluid in Harley Street, in July 2017 an MRI scan confirmed that some tumours were continuing to grow, so Ollie started immunotherapy treatment as an out-patient in Germany. He even returned to school in September 2017 defying all predictions. However, by October, Ollie was deteriorating rapidly and he passed away on 19 November 2017.
In 2019, the charity received an incredible donation of £187,000 from the residue of the crowdfunding for Ollie. This sum is funding post-doctoral researcher Dr Sara Badodi at our Centre of Excellence at Queen Mary University of London, who is working in a team of researchers developing new treatment strategies to inhibit the progression of aggressive medulloblastoma.
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