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Press release

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

Brain tumour survivor gets hatty for Brain Tumour Research

Feb 15, 2019

A brain tumour survivor is taking part in a national campaign to help scientists who are working towards a cure for the disease.

Amanda Stevens, 42, of Market Drayton, is working with the Brain Tumour Research charity to support this year’s Wear A Hat Day, which takes place on 29 March.

Along with her husband Ian, Amanda is hosting a ball on Wear A Hat Day and is asking members of the public to attend the fundraiser in their favourite hats. The event, at Tern Hill Hall, will raise vital funds and awareness of brain tumours – a disease which kills more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer.

Amanda was diagnosed with a large grade 2 meningioma in April 2016, after suffering from persistent headaches. She had surgery to remove the tumour but, devastatingly, in August 2018, her tumour recurred. Now, five months on from a gruelling 11-hour operation, Amanda is doing well, but has been told there is a high-risk of the tumour returning for a third time.

Amanda said: “The hardest part of my diagnosis was losing my driving licence, and, as I live in a small village, two miles away from any bus stop, I felt very isolated. I was grateful to my friends and family members who supported me, offering me lifts and taking me out for lunch.

“Despite the difficult times, I feel fortunate that I’m able to lead a relatively normal life. I was determined to make the most of every day and I married Ian, who I’d been with for 24 years, in April 2017. I know not everyone is as lucky as me and because of this I’m resolute in raising awareness of the disease to try to help other patients.

“I’m proud to be supporting Brain Tumour Research and I hope that as many people turn up to the ball in their hats as possible. Guests will be offered a three-course meal and I’m also appealing to local businesses to donate raffle prizes. Fundraising has been a fantastic way to take my mind off my illness and, in sharing my story, I hope that other individuals, businesses and schools take part in Wear A Hat Day too.”

Carrie Bater, community fundraising manager in the Midlands, said: “We are extremely grateful to Amanda for supporting Wear A Hat Day. There are some fantastic events lined up and it’s going to be our biggest, boldest and hattiest year ever.

“By signing up for Wear A Hat Day, people are helping us to raise awareness of the fact 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. We cannot allow this situation to continue so please join us on Friday 29 March, wear a hat, and help fund the fight against brain tumours.”

Wear A Hat Day has raised over a million pounds since it was launched by Brain Tumour Research 10 years ago and is the culmination of Brain Tumour Awareness Month in March. The big day will see schools, workplaces, families and individuals across the UK fundraising and taking part in fun events to raise awareness of brain tumours and help fund life-saving research.

Funds raised will develop the charity’s network of world-class brain tumour research centres in the UK where scientists are focused on improving outcomes for patients and, ultimately, finding a cure.

To get involved, or donate, please visit:

Or text HAT to 70660 to donate £5*


* Texts cost £5 plus network charge. Brain Tumour Research receives 100% of your donation. Obtain the bill payer’s permission. Call 01908 867200 with any queries.


For further information, please contact:

Annie Slinn at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 867221 or 07592 502708 or

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 ground-breaking research 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) which published its report Brain Tumours A cost too much to bear? in 2018. Led by the charity, the report examines the economic and social impacts of a brain tumour diagnosis. We are also a strategic programme lead on the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission, exploring the financial impact of brain tumours.

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.