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Press release

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

Buckingham teenager the star of Christmas Hope Tree Appeal

Buckingham teenager the star of Christmas Hope Tree Appeal

A pupil at the Buckingham School is the star of the Brain Tumour Research charity’s Christmas Hope Tree Appeal this year.

Lily Hawkins, 15, from Dadford, was diagnosed with a pilocytic astrocytoma brain tumour aged six, just after Christmas nine years ago. She underwent surgery twice, the first time to remove a 10cm-long tumour which was touching her brain stem. Thanks to science and research, Lily is looking forward to a wonderful family Christmas again this year.

Last week, the brave teenager was filmed at Technovisual in Buckingham for a special festive video for the charity, which is based in Shenley Wood, Milton Keynes.

In the Christmas Hope Tree Appeal video, Lily explains how viewers can join her by making a donation and sending messages of hope written on a ‘bauble of hope’ to be hung on the Hope Tree at any one of Brain Tumour Research’s four Centres of Excellence.  

Lily said: “I want to be a medical researcher so that I can help other people get better. I want a world where people don’t die because of brain tumours.

“This Christmas, help more people like me live after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.

“Please donate to the Christmas Hope Tree Appeal, send your messages of Hope and help change people’s lives. Together we will find a cure.”

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.

Michael Thelwall, head of community fundraising at Brain Tumour Research, said: “For too long brain tumours have been a neglected cancer – tragically less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers

“We are very grateful to Lily for sharing her story and being the voice of our Christmas Hope Tree Appeal. We urge people to watch her video and donate.”

Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at Research Centres of Excellence in the UK; it also campaigns for the Government and the larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours in order to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure. The charity is calling for an annual spend of £35m in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia.

To see Lily’s appeal and donate to the Christmas Hope Tree Appeal go to www.braintumourresearch.org/hope-tree

You may also like to read about eight families who are sharing their stories this Christmas at  www.braintumourresearch.org/our-christmas-wish

 

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 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
  • 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.

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