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Press release

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

Guisborough girls to raise money for research into brain tumours

Guisborough girls to raise money for research into brain tumours

Little sisters from Guisborough are fundraising towards a brain tumour cure after losing their grandmother to the disease.

Ellie and Heidi Edwards, aged five and three, are raising money for the Brain Tumour Research charity on a sponsored walk at the Rising Sun Country Park. The two girls will join the 3.9-mile Walk of Hope on Saturday 29th September after losing their grandmother, Elaine Neesam-Smith.

In October 2017, Elaine experienced a fit, collapsed and was placed in an induced coma. Consultants suspected a stroke and Elaine returned home shortly after. In December, however, she collapsed again and this time she was diagnosed with an inoperable glioblastoma multiforme – a highly aggressive type of brain tumour. The 52-year-old was moved to Yew Tree Care Centre in Redcar for palliative care and she died in March 2018, leaving her husband, two children, and Ellie and Heidi.

Danielle Edwards, mum to Ellie and Heidi and daughter of Elaine, said: “Mum’s brain tumour was extremely aggressive. Her first scan in October showed what they thought was stroke damage and it was a mass no bigger than a 5p coin. Then by her next scan, six weeks later, it was covering a third of her brain. It all happened so suddenly and Ellie especially took it really hard.

“The girls are really looking forward to the Walk of Hope. Ellie thinks of her grandma as a star in the sky and now she wants to help other stars in the sky too. They will be over the moon with anything they can raise.”

Matthew Price, Community Fundraising Manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: “It’s really touching that Ellie and Heidi want to help us find a cure for brain tumours. It just goes to show that anyone and everyone can do a bit for the cause. We hope that their story will encourage others to join too. You can bring the whole family and enjoy the wildlife and beautiful landscapes that the park has to offer, all whilst raising vital funds.

“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. Stories like Elaine’s remind us that we cannot allow this situation to continue.”

Taking place in the heart of North Tyneside, the Rising Sun Country Park Walk of Hope takes walkers through a beautiful green oasis of 162 hectares, with extensive grasslands, a farm and countryside centre to explore. The registration fee is £10 for individuals and £20 for families. All walkers will receive a t-shirt and, upon completing the walk, be awarded with a medal for being part of the charity’s fantastic Fighting Force.

The money raised will go towards Brain Tumour Research which is funding dedicated UK Centres of Excellence where scientists are focused on improving outcomes for patients and, ultimately, finding a cure.

To book your place, go to and to sponsor Ellie and Heidi, go to


For further information, please contact:
Farel James 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.