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Press release

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

Family of Santa runners ho-ho-hope for a brain tumour cure

Family of Santa runners ho-ho-hope for a brain tumour cure

A family who were bereaved by a brain tumour have tackled a festive fundraiser to help fund research into the disease.

Caroline Johns, 58, from Eltham, London, took on a Santa Run with her daughter Louise, 28, from Chelsfield, Kent, and daughter-in-law, Francesca, 29, from Biggin Hill. The merry event saw more than 4,000 participants dressed in Santa costumes, running around London’s scenic Victoria Park, on Sunday 2nd December.

The family were fundraising in memory of Caroline’s sister, Anne Pike, who passed away of a brain tumour. Anne, from Blackfen, Kent passed away on August 1st 2017, seven years after her diagnosis with an ependymoma, aged 64.

Caroline, a practice development nurse, said: “I was proud and excited to participate in the Santa Run with Louise and Francesca, and we ran with Anne in our thoughts every step of the way. It was a day of mixed emotions, and the mince pies at the finish line were certainly well-deserved.”

The family raised more than £585 for the Brain Tumour Research charity.

Caroline continued: “Anne was the best sister I could have asked for. Not only were we sisters, we were the best of friends and had so much in common, we could have been mistaken as twins. She was incredibly strong and healthy in life and so, after her passing, I knew I wanted to do something special for her. Her illness opened my eyes to how devastating a brain tumour diagnosis can be and it was awful to see how badly she was affected by the treatment she needed to prolong her life.”

Runners had a choice between a 5k or a 10k route and received a free five-piece Santa costume, including a red cloak, matching trousers, a jaunty bobble hat, a belt, and the all-important beard. Perfect for the whole family, a Mini Santa Run took place just before the main event. Carol singers, Christmas-themed characters and mince pies were also on hand ready to get all runners into the festive spirit.

Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at Research Centres of Excellence in the UK; it also campaigns for the Government and the larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours in order to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure. The charity is calling for an annual spend of £35m in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia.

Tim Green, senior community fundraising manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: “We are extremely thankful to Caroline, Francesca and Louise for taking part in the Santa Run in memory of Anne, and we hope they inspire others to fundraise for this vital cause over Christmas. Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet historically just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.”

To donate to Brain Tumour Research via the family’s JustGiving page, go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/francesca-johns1

 

For further information, please contact:
Annie Slinn at the Brain Tumour Research charity on 01908 867239 or 07591 206545 or annie.slinn@braintumourresearch.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
  • Historically, 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.

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