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Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer

Two minutes with... Erika Murigi - Head of Public Affairs and Campaigning

by Anna Berankova
What did you do before joining Brain Tumour Research?

I moved out of print journalism and into the Third Sector close to 10 years ago and since then I’ve managed the Public Affairs and PR/campaigning functions at two very different charities. Previous to that l spent time studying and working in the USA and Japan. 

What is your main ambition you want to achieve in this field?

For my work to contribute to finding a cure for brain tumours and improving outcomes for patients and their loved ones.
 
What is the most challenging thing in Public Affairs and Campaigning, in the context of medical research charity?

 
Ensuring national investment in brain tumour research remains a priority on the Government’s agenda amidst a long list of competing causes. 

What is the biggest thing you have had to overcome?

From a purely professional perspective, that would be achieving a sustainable and realistic work/life balance – an ongoing challenge! 

Who inspires you?

My daughter, my mum, my favourite writers, Michelle Obama, and generally anyone living a genuinely kind and compassionate existence.  
 
What do you do to relax?

Depending on the type of day I’ve had, I will bake bread, cook, exercise, lose my thoughts in a dark drama with my husband, or watch an animated movie with my daughter, all (except the exercising) with a cup of extravagant herbal tea in hand. There’s a technique for every mood. 

What is your favourite film/documentary?

My husband and I have quite a knack for finding really good films, documentaries, and series – but I’m terrible at recalling the names of any of them! I find it much easier to remember my favourite books – anything by Margaret Atwood, Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth, and the Shogun series by James Cavell – a few of many.  

What makes you happy?

My daughter in a fit of giggles, date nights with my husband, a perfectly ripe avocado, swimming in a warm ocean, running on a dark, chilly night, travelling, and crossing off tasks from my many to-do lists. At work, it’s knowing that I’m making a difference. It’s a cliché but it’s also a sincere motivation. 

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