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Press release

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

Husband follows in wife’s footsteps to raise money for Brain Tumour Research

Husband follows in wife’s footsteps to raise money for Brain Tumour Research

A husband whose wife is living with a brain tumour faced his fear of heights to abseil 558ft to fund research into and raise awareness for the disease.

Tony Pike, from Baildon, Yorkshire, took on the challenge to abseil the iconic Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth three years after his wife Lisa Brassington completed the event herself.

After experiencing a blockage in her right ear, Lisa was diagnosed with a low-grade astrocytoma in 2011. However, a year later, doctors realised the tumour was in fact a grade 2 oligodendroma. The 49-year-old then underwent an awake craniotomy at Leeds General Infirmary in 2012 but, due to the tumour’s location, doctors were unable to remove it all. The tumour continued to grow and in July 2016, Lisa underwent radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment and now has regular scans to monitor the growth.

Tony is hoping to raise £6,000 for the Brain Tumour Research charity to add to the excess of £2,000 Lisa raised with her event.

As the highest building in the city, the Spinnaker Tower offers breathtaking views of the Solent and beyond. Many of those who joined Tony on the abseil had also been affected by brain tumours in some way and were participating in memory of a family member or friend. 

Tony, who works as a Head of Sales at JLT Investment Solutions, said: “Despite her illness, Lisa undertook this abseil, raising a significant amount for research into the disease, and now it’s my turn. The adrenaline was high as I launched myself of the Spinnaker Tower but I’m glad I went through with it.

“Lisa’s determination is an inspiration to me. Despite her diagnosis, she continues to live life to the full, having taking up sailing and appearing as an extra on Emmerdale. I faced my fears and I hope my efforts will help raise awareness of this awful disease and draw attention to the underfunding of research which has gone on for far too long.”

Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age. What’s more, they 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.

Andrea Pankiw, Community Fundraising Manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: “We are extremely grateful for Tony’s support and congratulate him on completing the challenge. The money raised will help us in our mission to build a network of experts in sustainable research. We are funding dedicated UK Centres of Excellence where scientists are focused on improving outcomes for patients and, ultimately, finding a cure.

“For too long, brain tumours have been a neglected cancer and stories like Lisa’s remind us all that we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue. Sadly, less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers.”

Make a donation to Brain Tumour Research via Tony’s JustGiving page.

 

For further information, please contact:
Annie Slinn at Brain Tumour Research 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 focused on funding sustainable research to find a cure for brain tumours. We have established a game-changing network of world-class Research Centres of Excellence in the UK. Embracing passionate member charities nationwide, over £6 million was raised towards research and support during 2017.

We are campaigning to see the national spend on research into brain tumours increased to £30 - £35 million a year, in line with breast cancer and leukaemia. The unprecedented success of our 2015 petition led to the 2016 Westminster Hall debate and Brain Tumour Research taking a leading role in the Government’s Task and Finish Working Group convened to tackle the historic underfunding for research with the report being published in 2018.

Key statistics on brain tumours:

  • Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer
  • They kill more children than leukaemia
  • They kill more men under 45 than prostate cancer
  • They kill more women under 35 than breast cancer
  • Just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease
  • In the UK 16,000 people each year are diagnosed with a brain tumour
  • Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers
  • Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age
  • Incidences of, and deaths from, brain tumours are increasing.

Please quote Brain Tumour Research as the source when using this information. Additional facts and statistics are available from our website including our latest Report on National Research Funding. We can also provide case-studies and research expertise for media.

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