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Press release

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

Friend’s death inspires charity walk at Olympic Park

Friend’s death inspires charity walk at Olympic Park

A man who lost his close friend to a brain tumour is joining a fundraising walk at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to raise money for vital research into the disease.

David Kettle, from Eltham, was inspired to fundraise after his university friend, David Hetherington, died from a brain tumour at the age of 39. The charity event, named The David Hetherington Walk of Hope, takes place on Saturday 29th September and walkers will embark on the three-mile route around the Olympic Park in support of Power of David. Set up by widow Shaz Hetherington, Power of David is a Fundraising Group under the umbrella of the Brain Tumour Research charity.

The two Davids were friends for nearly 20 years after meeting at university. The pair followed similar paths: moving to London, playing for the same football club, getting married and becoming fathers. However, in 2011, life took an unexpected turn for David Hetherington when he was diagnosed with a low-grade oligoastrocytoma. Over time, his tumour changed to a grade four glioblastoma and the dad-of-two underwent chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy to control it. Sadly, he died in November 2016, leaving his wife Shaz and two young children.

David Kettle, a stay at home dad to three children, said: “David was one of my closest friends. I still miss him terribly but am so thankful to have had him in my life for so long. Taking part in the Walk of Hope gives me a chance to reflect and give thanks for all of my experiences with David, whilst raising money to help ensure that loved ones aren’t lost in such a devastating way.”

Janice Wright, Community Fundraising Manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “We are so grateful for David Kettle’s support; by sharing his story, he is helping us to raise awareness of the fact that brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer. Stories like David Hetherington’s remind us that we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue.

“The Walk of Hope is a leisurely event that’s suitable for all ages. It’s a fun way to raise vital funds and we encourage as many people as possible to join us and help fund the fight against brain tumours.” 

The registration fee for the Walk of Hope is £10 for individuals and £20 for families. All walkers will receive a t-shirt and, upon completing the walk, be awarded a medal for being part of the charity’s fantastic Fighting Force.

The money raised will go to Brain Tumour Research which is funding dedicated UK Centres of Excellence where scientists are focused on improving outcomes for patients and, ultimately, finding a cure.

To book your place on the David Hetherington Memorial Walk of Hope, go to:

For further information, please contact:

Farel James at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 867221 or 07592 502708 or

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.