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Press release

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

Brain tumour survivor completes Great North Run

Brain tumour survivor completes Great North Run

A businessman who survived a brain tumour has completed the Great North Run, helping to fund research into the disease.

Chris Blastland, 41, from Tonbridge, Kent, was running to raise money for the Brain Tumour Research charity. As a teenager, Chris underwent surgery to remove a low-grade tumour. He was motivated by the fact that 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.

Chris was also running in memory of his wife’s uncle, Mark Duffy. Despite having chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery, Mark died just 11 months after diagnosis with a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) – a highly aggressive type of tumour – in February 2018, aged 55.

Chris, a sales director, said: “I was really pleased to have finished the Great North Run in a good time and to have helped to fund research into this woefully underfunded cancer. My training was somewhat hampered by a strained calf muscle, so it was a relief to cross the finish line and to have raised over £400 for Brain Tumour Research.

“Losing Mark to a brain tumour was heart-breaking and it shocks me, even now, how quickly it all happened. What happened to Mark also opened my eyes to how prevalent the disease is and I want to somehow help change this. I count myself as one of the lucky ones to have survived this disease but I know more needs to be done to prevent others going through what happened to Mark.”

Chris was among thousands of runners taking part in the annual Great North Run, the world’s biggest half marathon. This year’s event took place on 9th September, with runners taking their marks in Newcastle city centre before setting off on the 13.1 mile course and finishing at the coast in South Shields. Chris also ran last year’s Great North Run for Brain Tumour Research and raised over £700.

A team of 42 raised money for Brain Tumour Research which funds dedicated UK Centres of Excellence where scientists are focused on improving outcomes for patients and, ultimately, finding a cure.

Carol Robertson, Head of Community Fundraising for Brain Tumour Research, said: “We are extremely grateful for Chris’s support and congratulate him on completing the event. Mark’s story reminds us all that less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers. We cannot allow this situation to continue.”

To sponsor Chris, please go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/chris-blastland4

 

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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