Birmingham magistrate inspires student’s cycle challenge
A student from Guildford is taking on a 100-mile cycle challenge in memory of her great-aunt who died from a brain tumour.
Imogen Blake, 24, will do the annual Prudential RideLondon in memory of her great-aunt, Angela Mason OBE JP, a former chairman of magistrates at Birmingham Magistrates Court. Shocked by the prevalence of brain tumours and the lack of funding which is allocated to research to find a cure, Imogen is now tackling the arduous sportive in aid of the Brain Tumour Research charity.
Angela, from Harborne in Birmingham, was admitted to hospital after a seizure and initially diagnosed with an encephalitic infection. She returned home to recover but when, two months later, her speech became muddled and confused, she was readmitted to hospital where doctors diagnosed her with a grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a highly aggressive brain tumour. Angela was given six to nine months to live but her health deteriorated rapidly and she passed away in July 2016, three days after her 68th birthday, and six months after her first symptom.
Awarded an OBE in 2002 for services to the Administration of Justice in Birmingham, Angela had a successful career in law as well as volunteering for St. John’s Ambulance and conducting funerals in retirement.
Her great-niece, Imogen, who studies Sport and Exercise Psychology at Brunel University, said: “I’m really nervous but very excited about RideLondon. I didn’t even own a road bike until January but I’ve started training and I’m confident I can finish it!
“Angela was such a warm-hearted, generous and caring person. She was a huge inspiration to me with the work she did whilst being a magistrate which saw her awarded an OBE.
“There is just not enough funding for research into this disease and I want to help in anyway possible to prevent this happening to other people. I also want to spread awareness of how dire the current statistics are.”
Aiming to raise at least £500 for the charity, Imogen is among 24 cyclists supporting the charity by taking part in Prudential RideLondon, described as “the world’s greatest festival of cycling.” Some 25,000 are expected for the RideLondon-Surrey 100-mile sportive which will set off from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London on Sunday 29th July before heading through the capital and out into the Surrey countryside and returning to the finish on The Mall.
Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer but just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease. The charity is striving to fund a network of seven dedicated research centres whilst challenging the government and larger cancer charities to invest more in brain tumour research.
Tim Green, Community Fundraising Manager for the Brain Tumour Research charity, said: “For too long, brain tumours have been a neglected cancer. Angela’s story reminds us all that we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue. We are extremely grateful to all our riders for their support and wish them well.”
To make a donation to Brain Tumour Research via Imogen’s JustGiving page, go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/imogen-blake
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 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
- 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.