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Press release

Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years

Daughter remembers her late mother with London Marathon challenge

Daughter remembers her late mother with London Marathon challenge

A salon owner from Windlesham in Surrey is taking on the London Marathon, in memory of her mother who died from a brain tumour. Helen Healy, aged 47, will be running the world’s most famous running race and helping to raise funds for research into the dreadful disease.

Her mother, Helena Ester Healy was an 83-year-old retired caterer from Langley in Berkshire, who was diagnosed with a highly aggressive, stage four glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in 2016 after she began falling over and slurring her speech. Sadly, three months on from her diagnosis, Helena passed away in May 2016 at Thames Valley Hospice, leaving behind five children, 10 grandchildren, and a new-born great-grandchild.

Helen, who works for Toni and Guy in Ascot, said: “I took up running after we lost mum. It helped me with the grieving process and gave me some much-needed headspace. Although I’m not a natural runner, I ran a half marathon last September and then I decided to apply for the London Marathon in mum’s memory. I’ve definitely inherited her determination, and although she would probably tell me I’m crazy, I’m sure she will be proud.

“Since losing mum, our family was yet again affected by the disease when my brother-in-law’s relative, Anne Gaffney, also died in 2016 from a GBM just a mere three months after diagnosis.

“Learning that less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers has shocked me, and I want to do whatever I can to raise funds for more research into this dreadful disease. I want people to get behind Brain Tumour Research because with more research, more lives can be saved and less families will have to suffer like we did.”

The money Helen raises will go towards the pioneering charity Brain Tumour Research which funds a network of dedicated Centres of Excellence where scientists are focused on improving outcomes for patients and, ultimately, finding a cure.

Michael Thelwall, Head of Community Fundraising for Brain Tumour Research, said: “Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer – and more men under 45 than prostate cancer, yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.

“For too long, brain tumours have been a neglected cancer. Stories like Helena’s remind us all that we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue. We are extremely grateful to Helen for her support and we wish them the best of luck for the marathon. Together we will find a cure.”

To make a donation to Brain Tumour Research via Helen’s JustGiving page go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/helenrunsformum

 

For further information, please contact:
Farel Williams at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 867239 or 07592 502708 or Farel.Williams@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.

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