Christmas comes early for family of Wakefield expat
A young woman who has been living in Texas whilst undergoing brain tumour treatment has returned to the UK for a truly magical Christmas with her family.
Lydia Carfrae, 34, has touched down at Manchester Airport on Christmas Eve after travelling thousands of miles from her marital home in Houston, Texas. Lydia, who has been undergoing gruelling treatment for a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain tumour, and her husband Stuart Brohaska will spend the holidays with her much loved family and friends in Wakefield.
Her homecoming follows several difficult months: in summer 2018, after experiencing numbness in the fingers of her left hand, Lydia was diagnosed with a highly aggressive brain tumour. Although supported by Stuart and a tight-knit group of friends in Texas, Lydia had to face a frightening diagnosis and gruelling treatment 4,735 miles away from her family.
Her husband Stuart, originally from Melbourne, Australia, said: “We’re both very excited to be back in Wakefield to celebrate Christmas and New Year with family and friends, including my mum who is making the trip all the way from Australia. It’s going to be a truly special occasion and there’s no better place for Lydia to rest after completing her first bout of treatment.”
Lydia and Stuart will return to Houston on Wednesday 9 January. In Wakefield, her family and friends will continue to virtually bridge the thousands of miles between them as they continue their ‘Wakefield to Houston’ challenge. Led by Lydia’s cousin, Rosie Crawford, the family and friends are walking, swimming, cycling and running with the aim of totting up 4,735 miles. The challenge, which began in October, is also raising money for the Brain Tumour Research charity.
Beyond Wakefield, Lydia and Stuart’s support network ‘Team Lydia’, which is represented in seven countries, will continue to raise funds and awareness for Brain Tumour Research. Since Lydia’s diagnosis, Team Lydia has collectively raised $13,917 (£10,998) through personal donations, various fundraising activities, and buying and wearing #TeamLYD wristbands.
Matthew Price, community fundraising manager for Brain Tumour Research in the North East said: “We are extremely grateful to Lydia’s family for fundraising and supporting Brain Tumour Research, and we wish them a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year together.
“The money raised will help to fund sustainable research into the disease at dedicated Centres of Excellence in the UK; it will also help us as we campaign 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.”
To support the Wakefield to Houston challenge, go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/wakefieldtohouston
For further information, please contact:
Farel James at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 8672221 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) which published its report Brain Tumours A cost too much to bear? in 2018. Led by the charity, the report examines the economic and social impacts of a brain tumour diagnosis. We are also a key player 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.