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Press release

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

Gruelling 100-mile cycle helps fund research into brain tumours

Gruelling 100-mile cycle helps fund research into brain tumours

A man who lost his brother-in-law to a brain tumour has tackled a 100-mile cycle challenge to raise money for research into the disease.

Alan Norris, a 58-year-old from Woodford Green, Essex, completed the prestigious RideLondon-Surrey 100 on Sunday 29th July. Shocked by the lack of funding into brain tumours, Alan raised around £1,250 for the Brain Tumour Research charity, which funds continuous and sustainable scientific research into the disease.

Finance manager Alan lost his brother-in-law, Tony Withey, to a brain tumour in January 2007. Tony, a builder from Loughton, Essex, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of the disease after experiencing a seizure while driving in May 2006. Sadly, Tony died just seven months later, aged 60, leaving behind his wife, Jan Withey, who is Alan’s sister.

After the event, Alan said: “I was both excited and worried when signing up for Prudential RideLondon, but the challenge of actually completing this tough course in heavy rain and windy conditions was nothing compared to what my brother-in-law and other brain tumour patients have experienced.  

“Tony was full of life and loved by everyone he knew, so he is missed dearly. I wanted to support this excellent charity so that other people who get this terrible illness stand a better chance of survival in future. 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 devasting disease.”

Alan was among 24 cyclists supporting Brain Tumour Research at Prudential RideLondon, described as “the world’s greatest festival of cycling.” Some 25,000 took to the roads for the RideLondon 100-mile sportive which set off from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London before heading through the capital and out into the Surrey countryside and finishing on The Mall.  

Michael Thelwall, Head of Community Fundraising for the Brain Tumour Research charity, said: “For too long, brain tumours have been a neglected cancer. Tony’s story reminds us all that we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue. We are extremely grateful to Alan and congratulate him on completing the event.”

To make a donation to the Brain Tumour Research charity via Alan’s JustGiving page, go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/alan-norris2 



For further information, please contact:
Annie Slinn at the Brain Tumour Research charity on 01908 867239 or 07591 206545 or annie.slinn@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.

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