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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 - post-event

Daughter remembers her late mother with London Marathon challenge - post-event

A hair salon manager from Windlesham in Surrey has completed the London Marathon, in memory of her mother who died from a brain tumour. Helen Healy, aged 47, ran the world’s most famous running event to help raise funds for research into the dreadful disease.

Her mother, Helena Esther Healy, an 83-year-old retired caterer from Langley in Berkshire, was diagnosed with a highly aggressive, grade 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 runs Toni and Guy in Ascot, said: “I’ve never been a natural runner and so running in the London Marathon is a huge personal achievement. Remembering my mum’s determination throughout her illness spurred me on and I’m so pleased to have got to the finish line.

“I’m hoping to raise £4,500 for research into brain tumours because the disease sadly takes the lives of too many. The more people that get behind Brain Tumour Research, the more lives can be saved and less families will have to suffer like we did.”

Helen was one of 40,000 runners taking part in the event which was started by The Queen from the grounds of Windsor Castle. It was the 38th London Marathon to take place since the first on 29th March 1981.

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: “Helen’s determination and commitment are fantastic and I hope her story will provide inspiration to others whose lives have been affected by a brain tumour.

“Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer – and less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers – 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. Experiences like Helena’s remind us all that we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue. We are extremely grateful to Helen and offer our congratulations to everyone who took part in this year’s event to raise money for charity.”

Make a donation to Brain Tumour Research via Helen’s JustGiving page.

 

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 have established a game-changing network of world-class Research Centres of Excellence in the UK. Embracing passionate member charities nationwide, over £6 million was raised towards research and support during 2017.

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 unprecedented success of our 2015 petition led to the 2016 Westminster Hall debate and Brain Tumour Research taking a leading role in the Government’s Task and Finish Working Group convened to tackle the historic underfunding for research with the report being published in 2018.

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 in the UK 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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