Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years
Businessman takes on mighty Kilimanjaro charity challenge
A managing director of a global investment banking company will see in the New Year on Mount Kilimanjaro as he aims to raise thousands of pounds to fund research into finding a cure for brain tumours.
Rolf Zartner, 45, hopes to raise £15,000 for the national Brain Tumour Research charity after losing four friends. He said: “Over the years I’ve lost four friends to brain tumours. All were a similar age to me and they were fit and healthy when they were diagnosed; however, I’ve since learned that the disease is indiscriminate and having youth and fitness on your side doesn’t help. Sadly, they each had glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) tumours – one of the most aggressive types of the disease – and they died shortly after diagnosis. They were aged between 29 and 42 when they passed. A close friend of mine also lost her dad to a brain tumour.”
The businessman, who works at Deutsche Bank in London, will set out on Saturday 29 December with a friend and 10 fellow climbers and together they will ascend 5,895m (19,341ft) to reach Kilimanjaro’s summit. In contrast to his usual New Year’s Eve destinations in the Middle East, Rolf will face tough conditions as he nears the summit of the world’s tallest freestanding mountain, walking for an average of seven hours each day for eight days. Altitude and oxygen levels will drop to extremely low levels and the climbers will take in less and less oxygen with each breath, putting them at risk of severe altitude sickness.
Rolf, who lives in Twickenham, said: “New Year’s Eve is certainly going to be different for me this year. I usually spend it on holiday with my wife and daughter but this year I’m swapping flip-flops and shorts for a hiking kit. I’ve done some climbing in the Alps before but nothing as challenging as Kilimanjaro. It’s going to be tough but it’s nothing compared to what brain tumour patients are facing each day and it’s easy sacrificing a holiday for such an important cause. I know £15,000 won’t be enough to find a cure but I hope I can raise awareness and encourage others to support more research.”
Janice Wright, community fundraising manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: “We’re extremely grateful for Rolf’s support and we wish him all the best for his Kilimanjaro challenge.
“Rolf’s story reminds us that brain tumours are indiscriminate and they can affect anyone at any age. What’s more, they 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. I hope people will be inspired by his challenge and help us to fund the fight as we cannot allow this situation to continue.”
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 donate to Rolf, go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Rolf-Zartner
For further information, please contact:
Farel James at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 867221 or 07592 502708 or Farel.James@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.