Bereaved family helps fund scientists researching a cure for brain tumours
The wife and family of a man who died from a brain tumour have helped to fun researchers looking for a cure for the disease. In recognition of their contribution, the family were invited to meet scientists and tour the lab where vital research is taking place.
David Gwynfor Jones (known as Gwyn), from Ashford in Kent, was diagnosed after a memory test and routine MRI scan in April 2011. The retired analytical chemist, aged 81 at the time, was told he had a suprasellar meningioma tumour sitting on his optical nerve. Despite the tumour being classified as low-grade, the disease had a devastating impact on Gwyn’s life, causing seizures, blind spots in his vision, and speech issues. By the end of 2016, Gwyn had lost all use of his legs and was bed-ridden. He died in August 2017 and his wife Hazel Jones and family are now determined to help scientists find a cure for the disease.
The family, who made a funeral donation to the pioneering charity Brain Tumour Research, were invited to visit one of the charity’s dedicated Centre of Excellence labs at Queen Mary University of London to see how funds contribute to research. The Jones’ also had the opportunity to place a tile on the Wall of Hope in Gwyn’s memory
Hazel, who was married to Gwyn for 59 years, said: “Seeing my husband go from an intelligent and inquisitive man to someone who could hardly communicate was terrifying. It’s a tragedy that so many people have to suffer like this which is why my family and I want to contribute to the research that’s taking place at the charity’s Centres of Excellence. I hope that research into the disease will receive more funding and that one day, in the near future, major breakthroughs are made.”
The centre, one of four receiving funding from the charity, is focused on research to improve treatments for patients with brain tumours and, ultimately, finding a cure. Each tile laid on the wall represents the £2,740 it costs to fund a day of research.
Led by Professor Silvia Marino the team at the centre are studying glioblastoma tumours – one of the most aggressive and deadly types of brain cancer.
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 for Brain Tumour Research, said: “We’re extremely grateful to Gwyn’s family for their donation and we’re really pleased they have been to see the research taking place at the Queen Mary University of London, and also placed a tile on the Wall of Hope. Stories like Gwyn’s remind us all that we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue.”
To make a donation to Brain Tumour Research go to https://www.braintumourresearch.org/donation
For further information, please contact:
Farel Williams at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 867221 or 07592 502708 or Farel.Williams@braintumourresearch.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.