Abseil in memory of sister lost to a brain tumour
An Emsworth resident whose sister died from a brain tumour has faced her fear of heights to abseil the iconic Spinnaker Tower and raise funds for pioneering charity Brain Tumour Research.
Michelle King, a 46-year-old a teaching assistant at Rachel Madocks School, took on the challenge in memory of her sister, Theresa Avey, who died in 2011. Theresa was 29 when she was diagnosed with a grade three brain tumour in 2003 after suffering a seizure. Theresa, who worked as an engineer at Lockheed Martin, underwent surgery and radiotherapy. Sadly, the tumour became more aggressive over the following eight years and Theresa died in November 2011, aged 37.
As the highest building in the city, the Spinnaker Tower offers breathtaking views of the Solent and beyond. Others who joined Michelle on the abseil had also been affected by brain tumours in some way, with many participating in memory of a family member or friend taken by the disease.
Michelle said: “I’m not a fan of heights, so naturally I was really nervous to complete the challenge. However, it’s something I felt honoured to do and I’m so proud to have achieved. My sister, who was a keen climber, feared nothing and could never understand my fear of heights, so I’m sure she would be proud too. I hope my efforts will help raise awareness of this devastating disease and draw attention to the underfunding of research which has gone on for far too long.”
Raising over £800 for Brain Tumour Research, Michelle stepped out of her comfort zone to take on the abseil, supported by family, including partner Paul and sister Yvonne.
Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age. What’s more, they kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.
Tim Green, Community Fundraising Manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: “We really appreciate Michelle’s support and congratulate her on completing her challenge. The money raised will help us in our mission to build a network of experts in sustainable research. We are funding dedicated UK Centres of Excellence where scientists are focused on improving outcomes for patients and, ultimately, finding a cure.
For too long, brain tumours have been a neglected cancer and stories like Michelle’s remind us all that we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue. Sadly, less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers.”
Make a donation to Brain Tumour Research via Michelle’s JustGiving page.
For further information, please contact:
Annie Slinn at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 867239 or 07591 206545 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to Editors
Brain Tumour Research is the only national charity in the UK focused on funding sustainable research to find a cure for brain tumours. We have established a game-changing network of world-class Research Centres of Excellence in the UK. Embracing passionate member charities nationwide, over £6 million was raised towards research and support during 2017.
We are campaigning to see the national spend on research into brain tumours increased to £30 - £35 million a year, in line with breast cancer and leukaemia. The unprecedented success of our 2015 petition led to the 2016 Westminster Hall debate and Brain Tumour Research taking a leading role in the Government’s Task and Finish Working Group convened to tackle the historic underfunding for research with the report being published in 2018.
Key statistics on brain tumours:
- Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer
- They kill more children than leukaemia
- They kill more men under 45 than prostate cancer
- They kill more women under 35 than breast cancer
- Just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease
- In the UK 16,000 people each year are diagnosed with a brain tumour
- Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers
- Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age
- Incidences of, and deaths from, brain tumours are increasing.
Please quote Brain Tumour Research as the source when using this information. Additional facts and statistics are available from our website including our latest Report on National Research Funding. We can also provide case-studies and research expertise for media.