Charity cycle challenge inspired by friends lost to brain tumours
The loss of two friends to brain tumours has inspired a cyclist’s gruelling 100-mile charity challenge.
James Meeds, 42, from St George, Bristol, is training for the RideLondon-Surrey event and aims to raise at least £500 for pioneering charity Brain Tumour Research. Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer but just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease. The charity is striving to fund a network of seven dedicated research centres whilst challenging the government and larger cancer charities to invest more in brain tumour research.
James, who works in geotechnical investigation, said: “I regularly cycle around 40 or 50 miles in a week but have never done anything on this scale before.”
He is dedicating his ride to two friends who were both lost to brain tumours. Marcus “Broll” Braley, who was married with a young son and lived in Leamington Spa, was 42 when he passed away in May and Marcus Skyrme was 40, a former captain of the Old Culverhasians RFC in Bath, who died in 2015.”
“Broll and I had been friends since school. We had talked about doing RideLondon and he was the first person to sponsor me. I had hoped he would be there to cheer me on but, very sadly he lost his fight. Marcus Skyrme and I had also known each other for much of our lives. To have lost two close friends at such a young age to this disease is dreadful.”
James is among 24 cyclists supporting the charity by taking part in Prudential RideLondon, described as “the world’s greatest festival of cycling.” Some 25,000 are expected for the RideLondon-Surrey 100 mile sportive which will set off from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London on Sunday 30th July before heading through the capital and out into the Surrey countryside and returning to the finish on The Mall.
James said: “It’s a sad fact that brain tumours can affect anyone at any time but no-one knows what causes them. Treatments for patients like my friends are very limited. I hope my efforts will help raise awareness of this awful and indiscriminate disease and draw attention to the dreadful under-funding of research which has gone on for far too long.”
Carol Robertson, Head of Community Fundraising Brain Tumour Research said: “For too long, brain tumours have been a neglected cancer. Stories like James’s remind us all that we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue. We are extremely grateful for his support and wish him well.”
To make a donation to Brain Tumour Research via James’s JustGiving page, go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/James-Meeds
Brain Tumour Research is campaigning to see the national spend on brain tumour research increased to £30 - £35 million a year, in line with breast and leukaemia, in order to advance treatments, and ultimately find a cure.
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.