Canary Wharf resident braves the UK’s highest freefall abseil to raise funds for Brain Tumour Research
Anthony Byrtus is raising vital funds for Brain Tumour Research by abseiling the UK’s tallest sculpture, inspired by a work colleague who passed away from the disease.
On Saturday 19th May, Anthony, aged 39, abseiled the 114.5-metre-high ArcelorMittal Orbit at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, London, in aid of funding sustainable research into brain tumours.
Anthony, who lives in Canary Wharf, works in Internal Audit at Clarion Housing Group’s Head Office in More London Place, London Bridge. He was inspired to take on the challenge because a work colleague, Darel Bryan of Bow, East London, a housing officer working at the Bromley office of Clarion, died from a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a highly aggressive type of brain tumour in February 2016.
Darel’s mother Sara Bryan, who lives in Bellingham, South London and is a Contact Centre Phone Advisor in Clarion’s Bromley office, said: “Darel fought bravely for 15 months, undergoing six weeks of radiotherapy, twelve months of five different chemotherapies, two surgeries, over five months of hospital stays and every alternative and natural treatment for GBM, but it was a battle impossible to overcome. He passed away aged just 34, never realising his dream to marry his partner and soul-mate Natalie Overs or start a family of their own.
“Following the loss of Darel, Natalie set up the Darel Bryan Foundation Fundraising Group for pioneering national charity Brain Tumour Research to help fundraise for research into brain tumours which kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer. We are very fortunate that Clarion decided to choose to support Darel Bryan Foundation and Brain Tumour Research, match-funding their employees who, like Anthony, take on these fundraising challenges.
Anthony commented: “When Janice, Community Fundraising Manager for Brain Tumour Research, came to our office to talk about their work, I was stunned to hear how underfunded research into brain tumours is. Just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.
“I had already done a couple of abseils before but never anything quite as high – the views were amazing! I wanted to take on this challenge because it’s such a worthy cause and I am glad I did because it was a thrilling experience. Going over the edge was the scary part, but then I was able to relax and really enjoy it. I hope it inspires people to donate to my fundraising page in memory of Darel.”
Janice said: ““Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone, at any age, at any time. 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 extremely grateful to Anthony and Clarion Housing for their fundraising and for helping us to spread the word about this terrible disease and hope that it will inspire people to donate or even consider holding their own events.”
The money Anthony raises will go to Brain Tumour Research which funds a network of dedicated Centres of Excellence, including one at Queen Mary University of London and another within Imperial College, London, where scientists are focused on improving outcomes for patients and, ultimately, finding a cure.
Make a donation to Brain Tumour Research via Anthony’s JustGiving page.
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 have established a game-changing network of world-class Research Centres of Excellence in the UK. Embracing passionate member charities nationwide, over £6 million was raised towards research and support during 2017.
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 unprecedented success of our 2015 petition led to the 2016 Westminster Hall debate and Brain Tumour Research taking a leading role in the Government’s Task and Finish Working Group convened to tackle the historic underfunding for research with the report being published in 2018.
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 in the UK 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
- Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age
- 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.