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Press release

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

Fundraising Group launches in memory of husband lost to brain tumour

Fundraising Group launches in memory of husband lost to brain tumour

A mum-of-two has launched a Fundraising Group in honour of her late husband who spread ‘hope, light and humour’ before his death from a brain tumour.

Shaz Hetherington, of Woodford Green, launched Power of David (PoD) to support the Brain Tumour Research charity which funds research into the disease that claimed the life of her husband, David Hetherington.

The group held its official launch event on Monday 6th August in Canary Wharf, which would have been David’s 41st birthday. Friends, family and supporters – or PoDsters – were all in attendance as the group pledged to help fund the fight against brain tumours.

Shaz, 41, said: “Since losing David, myself and others have raised approximately £25,000 for the Brain Tumour Research charity in his memory. Something good had to come from our deep loss and I kept thinking ‘the darkest hour is just before the dawn’. Creating this fundraising group keeps momentum going and ensures that David’s legacy lives on.”

David was diagnosed with a low-grade brain tumour when Shaz was 31 weeks pregnant with their first child. Less than three years later, David’s tumour had changed to a highly aggressive glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and he underwent gruelling radiotherapy and chemotherapy to treat it. Despite this intensive treatment, David died at the age of 39, leaving two children, Layla, aged six, and Daniel, four.

Shaz added: “The name ‘Power of David’ comes from David’s ability to impact others in a positive way. Leaving a lasting impression was his super-power. Wherever he went, David carried hope, light and humour with him, leaving a little bit of each with everyone he encountered, and this is going to be at the heart of PoD.”

PoD and its associated events are run by an army of volunteers, including John Baker, a colleague of David and Shaz’s from HSBC. He said: “It was terrible to see a brain tumour strike down a fitter, healthier and much younger friend. Seeing how David’s diagnosis devastated his family too is motivation enough and I’m determined to help Shaz on her mission to make a difference. Our first event will be the David Hetherington Memorial Walk of Hope in September which will see a group of us walk around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to fundraise.”

Strictly Come Dancing finalist, Debbie McGee, who lost her husband the magician Paul Daniels to a brain tumour, said: “I met John recently and he told me the sad story about David. I am so pleased to hear about Shaz’s determination to use her terrible loss to raise much needed money to try and find a cure for this horrible disease.

“Please can I urge all of David’s many friends and family to support Power of David and help Shaz create a lasting memorial to her beloved David.”

The money raised by PoD will help the Brain Tumour Research charity in its mission to build a network of experts in sustainable research. The charity funds dedicated UK Centres of Excellence – including one at the Queen Mary University of London specialising in studying glioblastoma tumours – where scientists are focused on improving outcomes for patients and, ultimately, finding a cure.

Robin Meltzer, Director of Fundraising at the Brain Tumour Research charity, said: “Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer yet only 1% of the national spend on cancer research is allocated to a cure. For too long, brain tumours have been a neglected cancer and we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue.

“We are extremely grateful for the wonderful support we receive from Shaz, John and their fellow PoDsters and we welcome PoD into our Brain Tumour Research family.”

For more information, or to donate to PoD, visit Email enquiries can be directed to


For further information, please contact:
Farel Williams 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.