Bereaved parents joined by family and friends to fund vital research
The parents of a student lost to a brain tumour have been joined by friends and relatives to complete the Great North Swim and help fund research into the disease.
Carlisle residents Paul and Mandy Wilson took part in the event in memory of their son, Joe Wilson, who completed the same challenge at Lake Windermere. Since Joe’s death, his family and friends have raised over £26,000 for the Brain Tumour Research charity.
Paul said: “Completing the Great North Swim was a fantastic way to raise awareness of this awful disease and pay tribute to our son. It was great to be supported by a team of seven other swimmers and I hope we inspire others to fundraise for this important cause.”
Joe was first diagnosed when he was eight years old and despite successful operations and radiotherapy treatment, the tumour regrew and claimed Joe’s life when he was 20. Joe’s best friend Ryan Shores will also take part in the event, having participated every year since his death in April 2013.
Ryan, 25, who lives in County Durham, said: “This will be my fifth consecutive Great North Swim after losing Joe just over five years ago. It was a terrible loss and shock to lose him and his death opened my eyes to how poorly funded research into the disease is.”
Joe’s uncle Mark Wilson and cousin Sam Wilson, both from Selby, also took part. Another Selby local and family friend Rachel Wallace, 44, joined the group. The team was completed by Joe’s aunties Ruth Wilson, from Beverly, and Michele Wherry from Sheffield.
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.
Andrea Pankiw, Community Fundraising Manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: “We really appreciate the support of Joe’s friends and family members and thank them for helping us to raise awareness and funds for research into the disease. 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 Joe’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.”
To make a donation to Brain Tumour Research in memory of Joe, go to
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.