Brain tumour diagnosis inspires aunt’s “unconventional” charity challenge series
An aunt from Darlington is taking on a 31-mile trek to mark the end of a series of charity challenges.
On the 1st October 2018, Lynda Venus set out to fundraise for the Brain Tumour Research charity following the diagnosis of her nephew Shaun Whitby. Lynda vowed to complete 31 push-ups each day in October – 961 in total – stay sober for the month, and finish it all off with a 31-mile round trek from her home in Darlington to Shaun’s home in Middlesbrough.
Lynda, a breast cancer survivor, will take on the trek despite having Achilles tendonitis. She said: “The push-ups, sobriety and the trek are unconventional ways to fundraise but I really wanted to challenge myself. My nephew Shaun has had an extremely tough 14 months following his brain tumour diagnosis, and if he can get through that then I can certainly get through just one month of push ups, not drinking and a 31-mile trek. I can’t train for the trek as I’m injured but I’m so determined to get to Shaun’s house on the 31st October and to tell him my fundraising total.”
Shaun, aged 36, suffered a seizure in August 2017 whilst changing his new-born daughter’s nappy and three weeks later he was diagnosed with a highly aggressive glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). The devastating news came just one month after he married his partner Julia and two months after the couple welcomed their first child, Ferne. Shaun, who worked at Sabic UK as a process technician, immediately underwent surgery at The James Cook University Hospital and started a course of radiotherapy and chemotherapy. In the midst of this chemotherapy treatment, Shaun also lost his grandmother to lung cancer and his grandfather to organ failure. A scan in December will reveal his prognosis.
Lynda, a HR Manager at ASDA, added: “It’s been an extremely tough couple of years for our whole family. To add to his own diagnosis, Shaun has had to mourn his grandparents too. I really admire how he is handling it all and I just want to support him as much as I can.
“It shocks me that 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.”
Matthew Price, community fundraising manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “We wish Lynda all the best as she completes her fundraising challenges. Her support will help us fund the fight against this awful disease.
“For too long, brain tumours have been a neglected cancer and experiences like Shaun’s remind us all that we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue.”
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.
To donate to Lynda, go to: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Lynda-Venus1
For further information, please contact:
Farel James at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 867221 or 07592 502708 or Farel.James@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
- 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.