Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years
Dad welcomes birth of baby daughter just weeks after brain tumour diagnosis
A dad from Bath has welcomed the arrival of his third child – just weeks after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.
Oldfield Park residents Oli and Beki Pendrey were preparing for the birth of the baby when, eight weeks before the due date, Oli was told he was living with the disease.
Oli’s diagnosis came after he suffered a seizure in November 2018, while travelling to play football. He was rushed to the Royal United Hospital, where an MRI scan revealed the terrifying news.
After enduring a gruelling operation on New Year’s Eve, Oli, 33, is recovering well. And, on Monday 21 January, Beki gave birth to their daughter Harriet, sister to Charlie, six, and Sam, four.
Graphic designer Oli, who works at Farrelly Atkinson, based in Bath city centre, said: “I guess there is never an ideal time to be diagnosed with a brain tumour. But to be given the news just before Harriet’s due date was extremely inconvenient to say the least.
“My diagnosis came completely out of the blue especially as, bar some minor football injuries, I’d rarely been taken to hospital before. I’d also not been suffering from the stereotypical symptoms you’d associate with a brain tumour, such as headaches.
Oli added: “I went for a follow-up appointment a few days after Harriet was born and was told that my tumour is grade 3 anaplastic astrocytoma. This was absolutely gutting as the doctors initially thought it was a grade 2 tumour and now I will have to undergo radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
“I’m trying to get on with life but the thought of my tumour is always there. I’ve realised that my time on Earth may be limited and this is why I’m focused on creating wonderful memories for my children to remember forever.”
Amy White, community fundraising manager for Brain Tumour Research in the South West, said: “We are very grateful to Oli for sharing his story to help raise awareness of brain tumours – a disease which kills more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer.
“We hope that, while going through treatment, Oli is able to enjoy precious time with baby Harriet. Oli’s story reminds us that brain tumours are indiscriminate and can affect anyone at any age. What’s more, less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers, and we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue.”
Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated 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.
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Brain Tumour Research Press Releases – 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 ground-breaking research 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 represented on the Steering Group 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.