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Press release

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

Brain tumour patient inspires soldiers' charity challenge

Brain tumour patient inspires soldiers' charity challenge

Five soldiers from 58 Field Squadron (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) and the 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) braved the cold and rowed for 24 hours in honour of a comrade diagnosed with a brain tumour. 

The soldiers based at Carver Barracks, Saffron Walden decided to take on the challenge and raise vital funds for pioneering charity Brain Tumour Research in honour of Cpl James Campling who was diagnosed in June 2016 with a grade four glioblastoma multiforme, a very aggressive brain tumour.  The challenge saw them take on a 24-hour rowathon on Tuesday 28th November 2017 at Tesco in Saffron Walden.

The team set themselves a target of 546 km, with each kilometre representing every day that James has fought the disease, from the day of being diagnosed, right up to the day of the event. The team beat their original target and rowed 560km, which is the equivalent to rowing one and a half lengths of The Thames, raising over £1,240 to go towards pioneering brain tumour research.

The organiser of the event, Corporal Steven Atkin, said: “We were all shocked when we heard the news that James had a brain tumour. He was a fit and healthy 26-year-old, so why would he get a tumour? There is little known about the disease and that is why it’s so important to help raise funds for further research.”

James Campling is an experienced Aeromedical Evacuation specialist serving with the Royal Air Force and is based at RAF Brize Norton, in Oxfordshire.

Despite the tumour affecting his health and suffering from seizures, James is determined to keep fighting the disease and even climbed the Yorkshire Three Peaks, just three months after undergoing surgery.  So far, James has raised over £11,000 for research into the disease through holding events in his hometown of Grimsby.

Paula Rastrick, Community Fundraising Manager for Brain Tumour Research said: “For too long, brain tumours have been a neglected cancer. Stories like James’s reminds us all that we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue. We are extremely grateful to Steven and the team for supporting our work and congratulate them on completing a tough challenge in honour of their friend and colleague.”

Susie Diggons, Community Champion at Tesco in Saffron Walden said: "We were honoured to support such a fantastic event for such a good cause and would like to thank our customers for all their generosity.”

To make a donation to Brain Tumour Research via Steven’s Just Giving page, go to


For further information, please contact:
Lexie Jenkins at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 867222 or 07591 206545 or


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 are building a game-changing network of world-class Research Centres of Excellence in the UK. Embracing passionate member charities nationwide, £5.5 million was raised towards research and support during 2016.

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 charity is celebrating a year of high-profile campaigning on this issue following the unprecedented success of its petition in 2016. Following that, Brain Tumour Research is now taking a leading role in the Government’s Task and Finish Working Group convened to tackle the historic underfunding for research.

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.