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Press release

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

Daughter takes on abseil challenge after losing dad to brain tumour

Daughter takes on abseil challenge after losing dad to brain tumour

After losing her dad to a brain tumour, one woman took on her fear of heights to abseil a 94m building to raise funds for Brain Tumour Research.

Lynda Goncalves, 42, from Seaford, East Sussex, took on the challenge of abseiling the iconic Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth in memory of her dad, Dave O’Donoghue, who died from an aggressive brain tumour in 2007, a month before his 60th birthday.

Raising over £600 for the charity to invest in pioneering research into this devastating disease, Lynda stepped out of her comfort zone to take on the abseil to mark the 10th anniversary of her dad’s death.

As the highest building in the city, the Spinnaker Tower offers breath-taking views of the Solent and beyond. Many of those who joined Lynda on the abseil had also been affected by brain tumours in some way, with many participating in memory of a family member or friend taken by the disease. 

Lynda, said: “I’m terrified of heights, so this abseil was a really tough challenge for me. I felt it was really important to mark the 10th anniversary since my Dad’s death and celebrate what would have been his 70th birthday.

“It’s a sad fact that brain tumours can affect anyone at any time but no-one knows what causes them. I hope my efforts will help raise awareness of this awful disease and draw attention to the underfunding of research which has gone on for far too long.” 

Tim Green, Community Fundraising Manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: “The money raised from the abseil will help to fund the work at our four Centres of Excellence, including our flagship centre at the University of Portsmouth. This is where world-leading research into the causes of brain tumours and improving treatments is taking place.

We really appreciate Lynda’s support and congratulate her on completing her challenge. For too long, brain tumours have been a neglected cancer and stories like Dave’s remind us all that we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue. Sadly, less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers.”

To make a donation to Brain Tumour Research via Lynda’s JustGiving page, go to


For further information, please contact:
Lexie Dabney at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 867222 or 07591 206545 or


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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