Grandma’s art paints brighter future for brain tumour patients
An amateur artist whose grandchild was diagnosed with a brain tumour is using her hobby to help fund research into the disease.
Myah Bell was ten-and-a-half months old when she underwent extensive chemotherapy, surgery and follow-up treatment.
The little girl is now three and doing well and her grandmother Karen Bell is raising money for the pioneering charity Brain Tumour Research by selling her artwork featuring delicate watercolour images of animals and plants.
Karen, aged 51, from Siddington, Cirencester, said: “Along with Myah’s parents Fiona and Joe – my son – we felt we were living in a nightmare when she was taken ill. It was the most awful time and it is appalling to learn that this dreadful disease affects so many people yet receives so little funding.
“I wanted to do something to help so I decided to use my hobby to raise money. I have been so touched by the messages of support and the interest in my work which includes pet portraits, greetings cards and cushion covers.”
Karen has already raised £500 for the charity and is continuing to donate the profit from the sale of her greetings cards.
Brain Tumour Research funds a network of Centres of Excellence where scientists are focused on improving treatments and, ultimately, finding a cure for brain tumours.
Myah’s mum Fiona, aged 41, of Reeves Close, Cirencester, said: “Myah was in theatre for 19 hours and very shortly after she was having another general anaesthetic so she could undergo an MRI scan. Every time she had a procedure we were warned of the risks; Myah could lost her sight, she might be permanently damaged, she could die. Each time I prepared myself for the worst. For three months, I barely slept and I wondered if the nightmare would ever end.
“Over the course of her diagnosis and treatment we nearly lost Myah on four occasions. Aside from a shunt which was fitted to drain excess fluid from her brain, and problems with her peripheral vision which should decrease with time, Myah is a normal toddler. I think we will always live with the worry about what might happen if the tumour grows back but while Myah is a very special little girl because of all she has gone through, I don’t want her to think there are things which she can’t do as she grows up. Perhaps it would be easy to wrap her in cotton wool but we are determined to ensure her life, and ours, is as normal as possible.
“It is such a lovely thing for Karen to use her wonderful art to raise money and we hope other families will realise they are not alone.”
Carol Robertson, Head of Community Fundraising for Brain Tumour Research, said: “We are extremely grateful to Karen for using her beautiful artwork to raise awareness of brain tumours and to help fund much-needed research. Sadly, Myah and her family are not alone. Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.”
Go to https://www.facebook.com/forMyah/ to find out more about Karen’s work.
For further information, please contact:
Susan Castle-Smith at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 867206 or 07887 241639 or Susan@braintumourresearch.org
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 are building a game-changing network of world-class Research Centres of Excellence in the UK. Embracing passionate member charities nationwide, £5.5 million was raised towards research and support during 2016.
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 charity is celebrating a year of high-profile campaigning on this issue following the unprecedented success of its petition in 2016. Following that, Brain Tumour Research is now taking a leading role in the Government’s Task and Finish Working Group convened to tackle the historic underfunding for research.
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.