Bow man lost to brain tumour is remembered at East London research centre
A woman who lost her partner to multiple brain tumours has raised thousands to help fund scientific research into finding a cure for the disease.
Natalie Overs, 34, who lives in Old Ford Road, Bow, set up a fundraising group under the umbrella of pioneering charity Brain Tumour Research after losing her partner, Darel Bryan, 15 months after his diagnosis in February 2016.
To date the Darel Bryan Foundation has raised close to £100,000 to help find more effective treatments and better outcomes for brain tumour patients. Darel’s friends, family and work colleagues have organised events and taken on challenges ranging from black tie balls and football tournaments to marathons and half-marathons, including most recently, the London Marathon. Clarion Housing Group where Darel worked as a housing officer in the Bromley office – has chosen the Darel Bryan Foundation as its charity of the year and promised to match-fund any fundraising achieved by Darel’s colleagues and work friends.
On 17th April, Natalie was invited by the charity to visit the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence at Queen Mary University London in Whitechapel to see how all funds raised contribute towards research. Whilst there, Natalie also had the opportunity to place a tile on the Wall of Hope at the research centre in Darel’s memory – the first of an impressive 36 days of research which the Darel Bryan Foundation has already managed to sponsor.
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, in collaboration with University College London, the team at the centre are studying glioblastoma tumours – one of the most aggressive and deadly types of brain cancer and the tumour that Darel died from, aged just 34.
Natalie commented: “It was an honour to visit one of the Brain Tumour Research Centres of Excellence and see where all the research takes place. Losing Darel has been absolutely devastating. He was truly the gentlest, most sweet-natured soul – a beautiful person, both inside and out, with the most gorgeous smile which lit up the room.
“Darel always put other people first and he touched everyone’s hearts. Even during his 15-month brain tumour battle he never gave up his zest for life or his positivity.
“He endured six weeks of radiotherapy, 12 months of five different chemotherapies, two surgeries, over five months of hospital stays and every alternative and natural treatment we could lay our hands on, but his battle was never one he was going to win.”
“Brain tumour is such an utterly cruel disease. It not only robs you of who you are, it robbed Darel and me of our future together.
“The tile symbolises not only the money I’ve raised, along with our friends and family, for research into brain tumours, but also commemorates my dear sweet Darel, so sorely missed by so many.”
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.
Michael Thelwall, Head of Community Fundraising for Brain Tumour Research, said: “Natalie and the Darel Bryan Foundation have raised an incredible amount for Brain Tumour Research and we’re really pleased Natalie has been to see the research taking place at the Queen Mary University London, and placed a tile on the Wall of Hope. Stories like Darel’s remind us all that we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue.”
To make a donation in Darel’s memory go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/TheDarelBryanFoundation
For further information, please contact:
Liz Fussey at Brain Tumour Research on 07811 068357 email@example.com
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.