Grieving friends brave Three Peaks in pursuit of brain tumour cure
A group of friends are climbing the three highest peaks of Scotland, England and Wales within 24 hours following the brain tumour deaths of two close pals.
Philip Wilson, Scott Chiesa, Adie Laird and David Nicolson, are set to walk 23 miles and ascend over 11,000ft to raise money for the Brain Tumour Research charity. Their National Three Peaks Challenge comes following the death of Andrew Bent, aged 33, and Phil Blackmore, 31. Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 that any other cancer, and more men under 45 than prostate cancer.
One of the inspirations behind the challenge was the death of Andy Bent from Hamilton. Andy was diagnosed with a rare Supratentorial Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumour in September 2015 at the age of 30. He proposed to his partner, Emma, two months later and underwent surgery the next day. A second operation followed after Andy’s scar became infected and he was given an eight-week course of radiotherapy. His condition stabilised but by the following Christmas, the tumour had returned and Andy had radiosurgery. In spring 2017, Andy was prescribed chemotherapy but was told soon after that any further treatment would be palliative. Andy and Emma married in August but he deteriorated rapidly and passed away in January 2018.
Scott Chiesa, a medical researcher at University College London, said: “Andy and I met at Hamilton Grammar School and were good friends right until his death. Despite everything he went through in the two years following his diagnosis, his bravery and positivity right until the end were an inspiration to all of his friends and family. It saddens me that the statistics on brain tumours are so bleak and yet such little funding is allocated to research into a cure.”
Philip Wilson, aged 32 from Coatbridge and now living in Bounds Green, North London, said: “Climbing the Three Peaks is going to be quite the challenge. Having completed the London Triathlon last year in Phil’s memory, I continue to be motivated by his can-do attitude. He ran the Berlin Marathon just a few months after his diagnosis so I can certainly get through this. It’s still hard to believe that such a healthy and physically fit guy like Phil could be killed in a matter of months by this disease.”
The team will set out on their challenge on 20th July 2018 and together they are aiming to raise over £5,000 for vital research into brain tumours. Starting in Scotland at Ben Nevis (1345m), moving onto Scafell Pike (978m) in England, and then finishing at Snowdon (1085m) in Wales, the four friends also want to raise awareness of this devastating disease.
Joe Woollcott, Community Fundraising Manager for the Brain Tumour Research charity, said: “We are extremely grateful to Philip, Scott, Adie and David for raising funds to help us find a cure. For too long, brain tumours have been a neglected cancer. Stories like Phil’s and Andy’s remind us all that we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue.”
To make a donation to the Brain Tumour Research charity via the team’s JustGiving page, go to: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/teamnational3peaks
For further information, please contact:
Farel Williams at the Brain Tumour Research Charity on 01908 867221 or 07592 502708 or Farel.Williams@braintumourresearch.org
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.