Academic’s mighty Kilimanjaro challenge in memory of dad lost to brain tumour
A woman whose dad died just weeks after being diagnosed with a brain tumour has taken on a Kilimanjaro challenge in his memory.
Dr Jenny Renju, a public health researcher for the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, challenged herself to both run a half marathon and then climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
Originally from Hook, Jenny, 40, has lived in the foothills of Kilimanjaro for the past seven years, and having ran her first ever half marathon around Africa’s tallest mountain earlier this year, she recently completed her challenge by climbing to the top. Through her two challenges, she has raised more than £5,500 for the Brain Tumour Research charity.
And there was a very personal motivation for Jenny’s Tanzania treks. Jenny’s dad Donald Komrower was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) – a highly aggressive type of tumour – after suffering from stroke-like symptoms, in February 2012. Despite enduring radiotherapy, Donald died just three months later aged 63.
Jenny, who has accompanied by husband Joseph on the climb, said: “The mountain was both a mental and physical challenge. I’m very grateful to Joseph for accompanying me and to his company Milestone Safaris for sponsoring us on the trek. After five days of walking, rather slowly, to base camp It took us more than eight hours to reach the top and we fought through altitude sickness along the way, but it was a stunning, humbling and emotional journey.
“For each gruelling step of the climb, and of my half marathon, I was inspired by Dad who was an incredible man, kind, caring and supportive. He was driven by his principles and was passionate about things that mattered to him and to society at large.
“I was also spurred on by the strength of my wonderful aunty, Angela Knowles. She was diagnosed with a brain tumour 10 years ago and sadly died in January this year from leukaemia. She remained strong, determined, funny, kind and caring throughout her treatment and she is sorely missed.”
Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at Research Centres of Excellence in the UK. It also campaigns for the Government and the larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours in order to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure. The charity is calling for an annual spend of £35m in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia.
Tim Green, senior community fundraising manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: “We are extremely thankful to Jenny for her Kilimanjaro challenge and hope she inspires others to fundraise for this vital cause. Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet historically just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.”
To donate to Brain Tumour Research, via Jenny’s Just Giving page, go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jennydoeskili-threeways-run-it-climb-it-drink-it
For further information, please contact:
Annie Slinn at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 867221 or 07592 502708 or email@example.com.
Notes to Editors
Brain Tumour Research is the only national charity in the UK dedicated to raising funds for continuous and sustainable scientific research into brain tumours, and we are a leading voice calling for greater support and action for research into what scientists are calling the last battleground against cancer.
We are building a network of experts in sustainable research at dedicated Centres of Excellence whilst influencing the Government and larger cancer charities to invest more nationally.
We welcome recent funding announcements for research into brain tumours from the UK Government and Cancer Research UK – £65 million pledged over the next five years. However, this potential funding of £13 million a year comes with a catch – money will only be granted to quality research proposals and, due to the historic lack of investment, there may not be enough of these applications that qualify for grants from this pot.
We want research funding parity with breast cancer and leukaemia. We are calling for a £30-35 million investment every year for research into brain tumours in order to fund the basic research groundwork needed to accelerate the translation from laboratory discoveries into clinical trials and fast-track new therapies for this devastating disease.
The Brain Tumour Research charity is a powerful campaigning organisation and represents the voice of the brain tumour community across the UK. We helped establish and provide the ongoing Secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group for Brain Tumours (APPGBT). We are supporting the crucial APPGBT 2018 Inquiry into the economic and social impacts of brain tumours and will publish their report in the autumn. We are also a key influencer in the development strategy for the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission.
Key statistics on brain tumours:
- Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age
- Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer
- Historically, just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to brain tumours
- In the UK, 16,000 people each year are diagnosed with a brain tumour
- Brain tumours kill more children than leukaemia
- Brain tumours kill more men under 45 than prostate cancer
- Brain tumours kill more women under 35 than breast cancer
- Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers
Please quote Brain Tumour Research as the source when using this information. Additional facts and statistics are available from our website. We can also provide case studies and research expertise for the media.