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Press release

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

Brave and inspirational young woman loses battle with a brain tumour

Jun 23, 2017

The father of a young woman who was diagnosed with an aggressive and incurable brain tumour in 2014, has shared the heart-breaking news that his beautiful daughter, Cat Anderson, passed away on Wednesday 14th June, aged 38.

Cat lived in Uppingham, having been born in Glasgow and raised in Corby where she attended Kingswood Junior and Senior Schools.  She started hairdressing at a Corby salon in Occupation Road called Harry Coutts and latterly worked for Motor Parts Direct as a delivery driver.

Parents, Margo and Rab Anderson, who now live in Kettering, will remember Cat, the eldest of their three daughters, as: “always laughing and joking, upbeat and incredibly positive” despite the fact that she knew that the chances of her surviving brain cancer were so heavily stacked against her.

Rab explained: “Cat underwent radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment, following the first of several surgeries.  She decided to have her hair cut off before it started falling out in clumps, and it was then that Cat got the nickname Cat in a Hat from one of my grandsons, because she was always wearing one hat or another.  She built up quite an extensive collection as family and friends bought her more and more exciting headgear to choose from.

“Along with so many of Cat’s friends and family members, and despite my nursing background, I was shocked to find 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 brain tumours.  It makes no sense!

“This spurred us to set up a fundraising group known as Cat in a Hat, under the umbrella of national charity Brain Tumour Research, for which, over the years since Cat’s diagnosis, we have raised tens of thousands of pounds through a variety of events and challenges.  

“Cat lived for her family and friends and believed in the power of positivity – which I am sure helped her to live as long as she did.”

Last August, Cat took on a sky jump, despite her terrible fear of heights, saying: “What have I got to be afraid of? I’ve only my life to lose!  I have been told my brain tumour is terminal, but I am not going anywhere – I have the most amazing family, including my son Robert and my partner James, and I have so many things I want to do with my life, not least helping to find a cure.”

Rab concludes: “Our lovely, funny daughter lived her life to the full, leaving us with so many precious memories.  She had an enormous heart too.  Her son, Robert Dunne, 18, currently at Leicester College studying photography, was her absolute pride and joy and she enjoyed the love and steadfast support of her partner, James, her two sisters, Lorraine and Elizabeth as well as of all her extensive family in England and in Scotland.  We will all miss her terribly.”

Carol Robertson, Head of Community Fundraising for Brain Tumour Research, commented: “We are incredibly sad to hear the news that Cat has been lost to this devastating and cruel disease.  She bravely helped to shine a spotlight on this neglected cancer, which has seen treatments barely advance in decades. I know her family will continue her legacy.

“Significant research investment is critical if we are going to beat this disease. We at Brain Tumour Research are committed to ensuring that people who are diagnosed in the future will have a more hopeful prognosis."

Brain Tumour Research is 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, which receives no Government funding, is building a network of experts working at world-class Research Centres of Excellence in the UK, with four already established.

If you would like to show your support to Cat’s family and make a donation to Cat in a Hat please visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/catinahat1

For further information please contact Liz Fussey at Brain Tumour Research on 07811 068357 or liz@braintumourresearch.org 

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
  • 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.

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