Brother’s diagnosis inspires fundraising to help find a cure for brain tumours
Beauty therapist Carla Dewane has set herself the challenge of raising thousands of pounds for research to help find a cure for her brother who is living with FOUR brain tumours.
Tom, who is the eldest in a family of five children, was 18 and hoping to join the British Army when he was diagnosed with the disease which is the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under the age of 40.
He lost out on his chosen career and feared he would never have a family of his own but, happily, Tom is now 30 and married with two small children. Like many brain tumour patients, though, he lives with the ongoing anxiety of what could happen in the future.
Carla, 22, from Portsmouth, is planning a number of events and hopes to raise £2,740 which will fund a day of research at the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence at the University of Portsmouth where scientists are focused on improving treatments and, ultimately, finding a cure.
On 1st October, together with Tom’s wife Hannah, she is organising a coffee and cake event at Erin’s Nail and Beauty Salon in Trinity Street, Fareham, to help towards her target for Brain Tumour Research. And, on 22nd October, she and friend Devon Adsett, 21, of Whiteley, are taking on the Great South Run.
Carla, who is a senior beauty therapist at Erin’s, said: “Things have been very hard for Tom and I’m determined to do whatever I can to support him. It feels as if brain tumours are a forgotten cancer yet they affect so many people and it is vital to raise awareness of the disease as well as raising money for research and encouraging the government and larger cancer charities to invest more in this area too.
“We are hoping that as many people as possible will support our coffee and cake event on Sunday 1st October and they can do this by simply dropping into the salon between midday and 3pm.”
Tom, a machine operator at Huhtamaki Group in Gosport, said: “I was 18, had met a lovely girl, and was planning to join the army when I was diagnosed with multiple brain tumours. It felt as if my life had ended before it had really begun.
“The diagnosis meant I had no chance of serving my country in the armed forces. I had to give up work and could no longer drive. No-one really knew what lay ahead or how much time I had left. I have four inoperable gangliogliomas which are classed as low-grade although this could change over time. Surgery has never been an option for me as it could leave me blind or otherwise permanently disabled.
“So far, I have had six cycles of chemotherapy and continue to have follow-up scans to keep an eye on the tumours but the truth is no-one really knows what might happen and that is a very difficult thing to live with. I am travelling a long and difficult road and just have to keep walking.”
Tom and Hannah live Gosport and have two children Cheryl-Louise, who is four, and Oscar-Myles who is two.
The Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence in Portsmouth is one of a network funded by the charity.
To make a donation to Brain Tumour Research via Carla’s fundraising page please go to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/DevandCarlaGSR.
For further information, please contact:
Susan Castle-Smith at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 867206 or 07887 241639 or Susan@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.