Daughter bereaved by brain tumour takes centre stage to help find a cure
A bereaved daughter who lost her mum to a brain tumour is taking part in a rocking world record guitar-playing attempt to raise funds to help scientists find a cure for the disease.
Annie Slinn, aged 22, will take centre stage as 450 musicians power up to play David Bowie’s anthemic “Heroes” with the aim of raising £10,000 for the Brain Tumour Research charity and smashing the existing record for the largest ensemble of electric guitars.
Judith Slinn, a teacher at Staverton Primary School near Daventry, was diagnosed with a low-grade brain tumour in 2011. She underwent radiotherapy, surgery and chemotherapy but passed away in May 2016 at the age of 54, leaving Annie, her sister Beth and their father Matthew.
Keen musician Annie played one of her mum’s favourite U2 songs at the funeral at Great Brington, the family’s home village. Now she will play the same guitar – her favourite Les Paul – for the record attempt which takes place at Ealing Blues Festival on Sunday 22nd July.
Joining Annie for The Great Guitar Challenge and adding a glimmer of stardust will be Scott Fuller, lead singer of tribute band The Thin White Duke. He will accompany the ensemble on vocals. The current world record was achieved by Sky Group (India) in January 2013 when 368 participants assembled at the Agri Expo in Dimapur, India.
Just 15 when her mum was diagnosed, Annie was studying for her GCSEs at Campion School, Bugbrooke. Despite their loss, both Annie her sister Beth went on to achieve first class degrees. Annie now works as PR officer at the Brain Tumour Research charity in Milton Keynes.
Annie said: “Mum was always more concerned about us than her own situation and was determined that her diagnosis and treatment didn’t affect our studies.
“In my role at the charity I talk to patients and families who have been affected by this dreadful disease and, when I feel it’s appropriate, I tell them about my Mum. It feels really good to talk about her and to feel as if I am helping others as we work towards finding a cure for brain tumours. It is turning a massive negative into a positive and I think Mum would be proud.
“As a keen guitarist and a huge David Bowie fan, I am privileged to take part in The Great Guitar Challenge. Music has always been a very important part of my life and has helped me through my bereavement.”
Michael Thelwall, Head of Community Fundraising for the Brain Tumour Research charity, said: “The world record attempt is going to be spectacular and it will be a novel way to raise awareness of brain tumours which kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer. Just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.
“I will also be taking part in the challenge alongside Annie and it will be a noisy reminder of just how many families are affected by brain tumours.”
Guitarists can join Annie, Scott and Michael by registering via www.greatguitarchallenge.com The ticket price includes a donation to Brain Tumour Research and entitles participants to a new Blackstar Fly 3 micro amp, a t-shirt and entry to the Ealing Blues Festival.
For further information, please contact:
Annie Slinn at the Brain Tumour Research charity on 01908 867239 or 07591 206545 or firstname.lastname@example.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). We are supporting the crucial APPGBT 2018 Inquiry into the economic and social impacts of brain tumours and will publish their report in the autumn. We are also a key influencer 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
- 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