Together we will find a cure Donate
Together we will find a cure Donate

Press release

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

Grand Union Canal turns pink as walkers help to find a cure for brain tumours, our Chief Executive also joins

Grand Union Canal turns pink as walkers help to find a cure for brain tumours, our Chief Executive also joins

More than 40 walkers in bright pink t-shirts walked along the Grand Union Canal to help find a cure for the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under the age of 40.

The Grand Union Canal Walk of Hope saw patients, their friends and families embark on an 11-mile route from the Three Locks pub in Stoke Hammond to the Grove Lock pub near Leighton Buzzard to fundraise for research into brain tumours.

Sue Farrington Smith of Padbury, who, along with her sister, co-founded Ali’s Dream when she lost her niece to a brain tumour just weeks before her eighth birthday, took part in the annual walk organised by the Brain Tumour Research charity.

Sue, who also set up Brain Tumour Research of which she is Chief Executive, explained: “When Ali passed away we were shocked to discover the lack of awareness and chronic underfunding of research into brain tumours. My passion for this cause is driven by loss. Not a day goes by when I don’t think about Ali. There are no words to describe how the loss of a child shatters a family and devastates parents.

“As in previous years of taking part in the Walk of Hope, I really appreciated the opportunity to meet supporters of Brain Tumour Research doing something positive for the cause in memory of loved ones or in honour of the hundreds of thousands of people who suffer daily from this disease. We can’t sit back and let this situation continue.”

Michael Thelwall, Head of Community Fundraising at Brain Tumour Research, said: “It was incredible to see so many people turn out for the Walk of Hope. Seeing all the bright pink Brain Tumour Research t-shirts highlighted that there is strength in numbers. Together we will find a cure.

“We are extremely grateful to everyone who joined in the event and hope that their efforts will inspire others to fundraise. The money raised will help us to fund dedicated UK Centres of Excellence where scientists are focused on improving outcomes for patients and, ultimately, finding a cure.”

To donate to Brain Tumour Research go to


For further information, please contact:
Liz Fussey at Brain Tumour Research on 07811 068357


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.