Family trio runs London Marathon to help scientists find a cure for brain tumours
Three members of one Gressenhall family completed the London Marathon to raise funds to help scientists find a cure for the disease.
Brian Cross was a well-respected local businessman, entrepreneur and former mayor until he was diagnosed with a lymphoma which, because it was on the brainstem, was declared inoperable. Despite radiotherapy, and chemotherapy, Brian passed away just nine months after his diagnosis, aged 62, leaving his wife, Sally, and family heart-broken. In his memory they set up The Brian Cross Memorial Trust to raise funds for research into brain tumours and have already raised more than £840,000.
Now, 12 years after losing Brian to this rare form of brain cancer, his daughter, Rosie, 28, son, Tom, 26, and their step-father Rob Hensen, 53, have raised more than £10,000
for the pioneering charity Brain Tumour Research which funds a network of Centres of Excellence where scientists are focused on improving outcomes for patients and, ultimately, finding a cure. They are expecting the final total to be £15,000. Tom finished in a time of 3.48, Rosie in 4.33 and Rob 5.23.
In 2015, the Brian Cross Memorial Trust donated £120,000 to fund a research nurse over a three-year period at Brain Tumour Research’s Centre of Excellence within Imperial College, London.
Rosie said: “‘After completing the Berlin marathon, I said to myself, ‘never again’ but when the opportunity came to run the iconic London marathon with two of the people I love most in the world, I knew I had to dust off my trainers.
“Once again, we have received the most phenomenal support from our friends and family and even people we have never met before. Our dream is that no one should experience the utter helplessness that we did when Dad was diagnosed with a brain tumour. We dearly hope our marathon effort can take us one step closer to the ultimate goal of finding a cure. Thank you to everyone for helping us raise awareness and vital funds for such an underfunded and cruel disease, you have no idea how much it means to us and the brain tumour community."
Tom said of his experience: “It was such a roller-coaster of emotion. Everyone in the crowd gave me a huge buzz, but then I would see people running in memory of loved ones with photos on the back of their running vests and it would make me think of Dad and everyone suffering with brain tumours. There was such a feeling of solidarity among the runners and the spectators – it was incredible and so special.”
Rob commented: “The heat made it very difficult, but it was such a fantastic experience.”
Rosie, Tom and Rob were among 40,000 runners taking part in the event which was started by The Queen from the grounds of Windsor Castle and relayed to big screens at the start line in Blackheath. It was the 38th London Marathon to take place since the first on 29th March 1981.
Michael Thelwall, Head of Community Fundraising for Brain Tumour Research, said: “Rosie, Tom and Rob’s determination and commitment are fantastic and I hope their story will provide inspiration to others whose lives have been affected by a brain tumour.
“Less than 20% of brain tumour patients survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers – yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.
“For too long, brain tumours have been a neglected cancer. Experiences like Brian’s remind us all that we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue. We are extremely grateful to his family and offer our congratulations to everyone who took part in this year’s event to raise money for charity.”
Make a donation to Brain Tumour Research via Rosie, Tom and Rob’s JustGiving page.
For further information, please contact:
Liz Fussey at Brain Tumour Research on 07811 068357 or email@example.com
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 have established a game-changing network of world-class Research Centres of Excellence in the UK. Embracing passionate member charities nationwide, over £6 million was raised towards research and support during 2017.
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 unprecedented success of our 2015 petition led to the 2016 Westminster Hall debate and Brain Tumour Research taking a leading role in the Government’s Task and Finish Working Group convened to tackle the historic underfunding for research with the report published in February 2018.
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.