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Press release

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

Hip op dad defies odds to run London Marathon

Hip op dad defies odds to run London Marathon

A dad-of-three is overcoming a disease that causes him excruciating hip pain, to take part in the London Marathon.

Jon Woodmore, from Torquay, was 17 when he was diagnosed with Perthes disease – an incurable condition, which restricts the blood supply to his hips – and he has endured two hip replacements to help ease the pain.

Now 52, Jon is defying the odds to take on the London Marathon. He is joining a team of runners fundraising for the Brain Tumour Research charity.

Jon was motivated to fundraise after his brother-in-law, Keith Harvey, was diagnosed with an aggressive grade 4 brain tumour. Keith, a 49-year old healthcare assistant from Torquay, has recently finished chemotherapy, after surgery and radiotherapy, but parts of the tumour remain inoperable and highly aggressive.

Jon, an aftercare manager at Kier Construction, said: “I only got into running this year and it’s given me a new lease of life. My hip replacements have helped with the movement in my legs and I was determined to set myself a challenge, to prove that I’m not defined by my illness. Having watched the marathon for many years on the TV, I’m looking forward to being part of the action myself and experiencing the fantastic atmosphere.”

He added: “I first heard about the charity when I was working on a building construction next to the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence at the University of Plymouth. I was shocked when I saw posters displaying the grim statistic, that brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet have historically received just 1% of the national spend on cancer research.”

Having completed the Plymouth Half Marathon in May 2018, Jon went on to double the distance at Exeter’s City to Sea Marathon. Some three stone lighter from training, he raised £1,400 for Brain Tumour Research and vowed to complete the London Marathon in 2019.

Keeping to his word, Jon will join tens of thousands of runners pounding the streets of the capital at Virgin Money London Marathon, the world’s most famous running event, on Sunday 28th April 2019. Places are available on the Brain Tumour Research 2019 team and former team member, Angus Cameron, is appealing for runners to take his place. Angus, whose thigh bone broke metres from the finish line at the 2018 event, is encouraging others to #RunForAngus while he recovers.

Carrie Bater, community fundraising manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: “Jon’s determination to defy his hip condition, while fundraising and helping us raise awareness, is remarkable and we are extremely grateful for his ongoing support. We hope he inspires others to #RunForAngus and join our team at the marathon next year, to help us fund the fight against brain tumours.”

Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at Research Centres of Excellence in the UK, including its centre at the University of Plymouth. It also campaigns for the Government and the larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours in order to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure. The charity is calling for an annual spend of £35m in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia.

Contact Sarah Day at to #RunForAngus

To donate to Brain Tumour Research, via Jon’s Just Giving page, go to


For further information, please contact:
Annie Slinn 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
  • 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.