Dad fighting brain tumour launches Christmas campaign to help find a cure
A husband and father living with a high-grade brain tumour has launched a campaign of hope this Christmas to help scientists find a cure for the disease.
David Kingston, aged 46, launched the Brain Tumour Research Hope Tree appeal at the University of Portsmouth where scientists are working to improve outcomes for patients.
Along with his family, David was at the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence to hang baubles on the tree. He is inviting people from across the region to take part by making a donation and sending a special message which is written on a “bauble of hope” and hung on the Hope Tree.
Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.
Each year, 16,000 people are diagnosed with a brain tumour and the disease kills more children than leukaemia, more men under 45 than prostate cancer and more women under 35 than breast cancer.
First diagnosed nine years ago, David underwent surgery and follow-up treatment for a low-grade tumour. Now his tumour has begun to regrow, this time it is designated as high-grade, and he faces more chemotherapy.
David and his wife Kim, who live in Henderson Road, Southsea, have two children, Jessica, aged 11, and Charlie, eight. Four years ago David endured the loss of his 20-year-old daughter Emma to the genetic condition cystic fibrosis.
He said: “This is my life, this is the hand I have been dealt and I have to get on and live it as best I can. I am determined not to let my illness define me or rule my life. My wife has been incredible, having always been by my side.
“Thanks to her, and the amazing group of friends we have, it is overwhelming to feel their constant love and support. I never spend time worrying about myself but I do worry about my family. The hardest thing is thinking about Kim and the children and what will happen to them without me being here to pick the pieces.
“Sadly, I know only too well the pain of loss as my beautiful daughter Emma passed away in July 2013. We’ve always been honest with Jessica and Charlie, they know I have a brain tumour and that I’m going to have more treatment. I am determined to remain positive and consider that at least my back-story would get me fast-tracked to boot camp on the X Factor!”
David, who is Sales Manager for Chichester-based Colleague Software Limited, added: “I am resigned to the fact that there is a fight ahead but my view is that I can’t deal with it until I know exactly what I have to deal with and, in that way, I try not to spend time worrying about the unknown.”
David is campaigning to raise awareness of brain tumours and, along with Brain Tumour Research, lobbying the government and larger cancer charities to see the national spend increased to £30m - £35m a year, in line with other cancers such as breast and leukaemia.
Nationally, this year’s appeal is being fronted by seven-year-old Phoebe Vines from Lincolnshire who lost her mum to a brain tumour earlier this year. To find out more and to make a donation to Brain Tumour Research this Christmas please go to https://www.braintumourresearch.org/donation/hope-tree-appeal
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
- 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.