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Press release

Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years

Brain tumour patient honoured at the University of Plymouth

Brain tumour patient honoured at the University of Plymouth

A woman living with a brain tumour has been honoured at a research centre, where scientists are searching for a cure for the disease.

Claire Messer, who lives in Crewkerne, Somerset, was pictured in front of the Wall of Hope at the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence in Plymouth, on Wednesday 12th September. Through her and her family’s fundraising achievements, Claire and her family have raised enough to place a tile on the Wall of Hope, which represents £2,740, the amount it costs to fund a day’s research.

Claire, a 58-year-old hairstylist, was diagnosed with a low-grade meningioma in August 2015, after suffering from hearing problems. She had radiotherapy at the Bristol Royal Infirmary and now requires regular scans to monitor its growth. Since her diagnosis, Claire has hosted a football tournament and masquerade ball with her husband, Rod, 59, and two daughters, Chloe and Celine, 28 and 25, raising over £4,000 for the Brain Tumour Research charity.

Claire said: “It was an awful shock to be diagnosed with a brain tumour, although for a long time leading up to my diagnosis I was nagged by my family to see a doctor about my hearing loss, but I was convinced I wasn’t going deaf, particularly as the problems were in one ear

“It was my daughter Celine’s idea to fundraise for the charity and since then we have never looked back. I feel incredibly lucky that my tumour is low-grade and I hope to continue to fundraise for many more years to come. Placing a tile on the Wall of Hope was a huge privilege and it was inspiring to meet scientists who are working at the forefront of research into this disease.”

Claire added: “My family and I will be hosting a winter wonderland ball on Saturday 17th November at Haselbury Mill, near Crewkerne, and I want to encourage others to fundraise for this vital cause.”

Brain Tumour Research funds dedicated UK Centres of Excellence, including at the University of Plymouth, where scientists are focused on improving outcomes for patients and, ultimately, finding a cure. The Plymouth team has a world-leading track record in researching low-grade brain tumours, like Claire’s, occurring in teenagers and adults.

Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age. What’s more, brain tumours 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 at Brain Tumour Research, said: “We are extremely grateful for Claire’s ongoing support and thank her for fundraising for the charity over the years. It was a pleasure to honour her hard work at the University of Plymouth.

“For too long, brain tumours have been a neglected cancer and 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.”

If you would like to donate to the Brain Tumour Research charity, visit: www.braintumourresearch.org/donation/donate-now

 

For further information, please contact:
Annie Slinn at the Brain Tumour Research charity on 01908 867239 or 07591 206545 or annie.slinn@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.

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