Employees to stage charity cycle event after colleague’s wife diagnosed with brain tumour
A band of cyclists is taking on a 100+-mile cycle challenge to raise funds for research after a colleague’s wife was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
The team from Altrincham-based construction specialists FK Group is aiming to raise £20,000 for the pioneering charity Brain Tumour Research with The Way of the Roses ride which will take them from Morecambe to York. The team has already secured over £19,000 from suppliers, clients, family and friends.
The event is inspired by Sarah Gaffney-Lang, who was diagnosed with a grade two diffuse astrocytoma brain tumour 10 months ago. Sarah’s husband, Matt Lang is commercial director at FK Group and will join 42 colleagues for the event on 1st and 2nd September.
Laura Keenan, HR Manager at FK Group, said: “We are all motivated by Sarah’s attitude; she is currently in the midst of slightly less fun cycles of her own – the second phase of chemotherapy treatment - and describes her illness as an ‘inconvenience’. We’ve set ourselves a tough challenge cycling 112 miles in two days, albeit with an overnight stop, but are conscious that our pain and discomfort will be nothing compared to what Sarah is going through.”
Sarah, aged 30, and Matt, 33, live in Castlefield, Manchester, and were married earlier this year.
The diagnosis came after Sarah became unwell during a day out at York Races in August 2016. Surgery aimed at removing 95% of the tumour was unsuccessful and complications left her unable to walk. Physiotherapy and determination have helped to improve her mobility but further surgery is now impossible as it would leave her permanently paralysed. Sarah began radiotherapy and chemotherapy in February.
She said: “Although the operation has changed my life, I do not regret it. I put my trust in some very skilled people and their view was that surgery was the right option. There is no benefit in being bitter or negative about what happened. More than anything else, my diagnosis means I have gained a real perspective on life – what matters and what really doesn’t. I know how much I am truly loved and have been able to tell others how I really feel.
“I am proud of my strength and proud of everything I have got through so far – surgery, chemo/radio, learning to walk again. All whilst wearing my red lippy which always gives me a boost. I have been just as happy during the last six months as before.”
Sarah has been documenting her life with a brain tumour and writing about style and beauty on her blog www.zimmazimmathreecoursewinner.com
Carol Robertson, Community Fundraising Manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “Sadly, Sarah is not alone; 16,000 people are diagnosed with a brain tumour every year. We wish her well with her treatment and are extremely grateful to everyone at FK Group who is taking part in this challenge.
“Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.”
Brain Tumour Research operates a network of Centres of Excellence where scientists are focused on finding new treatments and, eventually, a cure for brain tumours. Each day of research costs £2,740.
To make a donation to Brain Tumour Research via the FK Group’s Way of the Roses challenge event go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/fkbikeride
For further information, please contact:
Susan Castle-Smith at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 867206 or 07887 241639 or Susan@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
- 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.