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Press release

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

“I did it for Mum” – daughter completes ultra-marathon in pursuit of brain tumour cure

“I did it for Mum” – daughter completes ultra-marathon in pursuit of brain tumour cure

A woman from Daventry has completed a gruelling 100km run to honour her mum, who survived a brain tumour.

Louise Balloch tackled the arduous Race to the Stones – an endurance race, which finishes at the impressive Avebury stone circle in Wiltshire – in blistering heat. She took on the challenge to raise awareness and funds for the Brain Tumour Research charity, after running with her mum, Karen Balloch, throughout her illness.

HR advisor Louise, aged 23, said: “While my mum was ill, she was told she should not be running alone, something which she loved doing. This is when I stepped up and went on my first jog and now it seems only right that to have taken part in a running event to raise money for this worthy cause.”

Karen, a 55-year-old accountant, was diagnosed with a brain tumour after suffering from severe headaches and problems with her eyesight in August 2015. Now, after a gruelling two rounds of surgery and radiotherapy, scans have shown no sign of the tumour and Karen has made a remarkable recovery.

Louise, who has raised over £1,500 for Brain Tumour Research, added: “I don’t want other people to have to go through what my mum or my family has. She has been incredibly lucky, brave and strong to fight off her tumour. Due to the lack of current research, there is still a long way to go and too many lives are lost to this cruel and very underfunded disease.”

Also joining Louise on the challenge was Luke Reeves, a company director at Move Our Way. Luke’s nan, Lyn Reeves-Wright, from Birmingham was diagnosed with a brain tumour in November 2017 after suffering a minor stroke and sadly died just weeks later, aged 71.

Luke said: “My nan was an incredible woman who fought a brave battle. Though I miss her more than anything in the world, raising awareness for this vital cause is so important to ensure other families don’t have to go through the same thing. We went through a million emotions during the run but were incredibly proud of our achievements.”

Louise and Luke, along with Dan Day and Paul Barker, were some of 2,700 runners taking part in the event on Saturday 14th July, which traverses Britain’s oldest long-distance path. Cutting through the Chilterns and the North Wessex Downs, it was the sixth time the event has taken place.

Michael Thelwall, Head of Community Fundraising for the Brain Tumour Research charity, said: “Louise and Luke’s determination and commitment are fantastic and I hope they will provide inspiration to others whose lives have been affected by a brain tumour.

“For too long, brain tumours have been a neglected cancer. Sadly, less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers.”

To make a donation to Brain Tumour Research via Louise’s JustGiving page go to: 

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