Family support research into disease that claimed loved one’s life
A family bereaved by a brain tumour have met with scientists at Imperial College London who are working to find a cure for the disease.
Dave Bennett, a dad-of-two from Christchurch, was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in 2014. He underwent two operations, radiotherapy and privately-funded treatment in Germany but he died in January 2016. The Imperial College graduate was 65-years-old and left his wife Sue, children Karina and Troy, and five grandchildren.
Almost three years on from his death, Sue, who lives in Christchurch, was joined by Karina and Troy on a tour of the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence at the London University. They saw the research facility at Hammersmith Hospital and heard from lead scientist Dr Nelofer Syed about the work taking place there. The family also met Kevin O’Neill, consultant neuro-surgeon at Charing Cross Hospital, who told them about how the research work was being translated into new surgical tools, such as the iKnife, which can differentiate between tumour and normal brain cells during surgery.
Also attending the tour was a lifelong friend of Dave Bennett’s, Dave Pinnington, and his wife Anne. Dave, 66, from Clayton-le-Woods, Lancashire raised £2,883 for the Brain Tumour Research charity by leading a four-hour spinathon at David Lloyd Leisure Centre, Chorley, in memory of his friend.
In recognition of Dave and Anne Pinnington’s fundraising, a tile was placed on the university’s Wall of Hope. Each tile represents the £2,740 it costs to fund a day of research.
Sue said: “Placing a tile on the Wall of Hope was a poignant experience, especially as Imperial College was the university that my husband graduated from. However, we are so grateful to Dave and Anne for fundraising and the tile is a moving way to ensure my husband’s legacy continues. Brain tumours devastate so many lives but seeing all the incredible research taking place here has given me hope.”
Dave Pinnington added: “Dave was one of the healthiest and fittest people I know – even in his 60s he was going on eight-mile runs – which made it all the more shocking when he deteriorated. It opened my eyes to how cruel brain tumours can be.”
Tim Green, senior community fundraising manager for Brain Tumour Research in the South East, said: “We hope that Dave’s family had an insightful experience at Imperial College, and that his story inspires people to donate to this vital cause. It’s fitting that Dave and Anne were able to join the family on the day, and we are very grateful to them for fundraising at the spinathon.
“In addition to funding sustainable research at our centres, we are also campaigning 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. We’re 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.”
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 make a donation, go to www.braintumourresearch.org/donation
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
- 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.