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Press release

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

Hat fever sweeps Milton Keynes in readiness for Wear A Hat Day

Hat fever sweeps Milton Keynes in readiness for Wear A Hat Day

Hat fever is sweeping Milton Keynes as schools, businesses, and individuals across the city sign up to support a national fundraiser for a brain tumour cure.

Taking place on Friday 29 March, the annual Wear A Hat Day fundraiser will see people don their hats across the nation to raise vital funds for the Brain Tumour Research charity. It’s the UK’s premier brain tumour awareness event and has raised over a million pounds since the charity was launched 10 years ago.

Dad-of-two, Tom Meager, 31, of Fairfields, was diagnosed with a high-grade brain tumour in 2014 after suffering a seizure at Pure Gym, Winter Hill, when his wife Tanya Buey was just 14 weeks pregnant. Tanya’s family business, Huggles ChildCare, will be taking part in Wear A Hat Day again this year with the children having fun making and wearing hats. There will also be a raffle.

Tanya said: “Sienna was just one week old when Tom started his radiotherapy and chemo treatment following three operations. I am sure she was the reason Tom got through it all so well – they have such a special bond.

“When Tom was diagnosed with a brain tumour it was enough of a shock, without then finding out that brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and the under 40s, yet, historically, just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.

“Fortunately, Tom seems to be doing well and we have been blessed with a little boy Roman, born in July 2018 – a lovely surprise since we had been told that Tom would more than likely be infertile following the treatment!

“We’re delighted to be taking part in Wear A Hat Day again this year and I can’t wait to see the children in their colourful, bright hats. It’s all for an important cause and I’m sure it’s going to be an exciting and lively day.”

Corporate supporters already signed up for the fundraiser include Specsavers, Hobbycraft, and Venture Studios. Other businesses in Milton Keynes supporting Wear A Hat Day include the Kuehne & Nagel distribution centre at Magna Park, as well as Lakeland, Waterstones and Patisserie Valerie in Centre MK and a number of schools including Two Mile Ash pre-school which Sienna attends.

Residents participating in the fun include Emma Carrick of Shenley Church End, a volunteer at Brain Tumour Research’s head office in Shenley Wood, whose husband Brian, 56, was diagnosed with a brain tumour, again following a seizure.

Paula Rastrick, community fundraising manager for Brain Tumour Research in the Central region, said: “We’re delighted to see residents, schools and businesses across Milton Keynes signing up to support Wear A Hat Day. There are some fantastic events lined up and it’s going to be our biggest, boldest and hattiest year ever.

“By signing up for Wear A Hat Day, people are helping us to raise awareness of the fact that less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive more than five years, compared with an average of 50% across all cancers. We cannot allow this situation to continue so please join us on Friday 29 March, wear a hat, and help fund the fight against brain tumours.”

Funds raised will develop the charity’s network of world-class brain tumour research centres in the UK where scientists are focused in improving outcomes for patients and, ultimately, finding a cure.

To get involved, or donate, please visit:

Or text HAT to 70660 to donate £5*


* Texts cost £5 plus network charge. Brain Tumour Research receives 100% of your donation. Obtain the bill payer’s permission. Call 01908 867200 with any queries.


For further information, please contact:

Liz Fussey at Brain Tumour Research on 07811 068357 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 ground-breaking research 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) which published its report Brain Tumours A cost too much to bear? in 2018. Led by the charity, the report examines the economic and social impacts of a brain tumour diagnosis. We are also a key player 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.