Daventry Dad tackles 100km challenge in pursuit of a brain tumour cure
A dad-of-two from Daventry will take on a 100km challenge, in memory of a close friend who was lost to a brain tumour.
Mark O’Donnell, 37, is walking the Thames Path Challenge to raise money for the Brain Tumour Research charity. Mark, a project manager at Barclaycard, is motivated by the fact that brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.
Mark’s friend Charlotte Hayes, from Hackney, died from a brain tumour in March 2013, aged only 32. Tragically, she had also recently lost her parents to cancer. Mark studied with Charlotte for four years at the University of Bournemouth, and was inspired to fundraise in her memory.
Mark, who has two young children Evie, seven, and Ethan, three, said: “I’ve been so busy with work and family life that the challenge has soon crept up on me! I’m somewhat nervous about tackling the 100km route but, as I’m a keen gym goer and exercise regularly, I think I’m fit enough to finish in good time. Though I’ll be knackered at the end, I want to pay tribute to Charlotte and to inspire others to fundraise for this vital cause.”
Mark will be among 3,000 challengers taking part in the Thames Path Challenge, which follows one of the UK’s longest rivers, on 8-9th September. The event begins at Putney Bridge, before heading upstream along the river Thames to Henley, passing spectacular scenery such as Hampton Court along the route.
Mark will be raising money for Brain Tumour Research which funds dedicated UK 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: “We are extremely grateful for Mark’s support and wish him all the best for the event. Charlotte’s story reminds us that brain tumours are indiscriminate and we hope she inspires others to fundraise for this woefully underfunded cancer. Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers. We cannot allow this situation to continue.”
To sponsor Mark, please go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mark-o-donnell5
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
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.