Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years
Leith brain tumour patient publishes comic book to help generate greater understanding of cancer
A graphic artist from Leith has published his fourth comic book designed to help people gain a greater understanding of cancer and the effect it has on patients.
Gordon, 38, was diagnosed six years ago with a low-grade brain tumour and given a survival prognosis of 10 to 15 years. Unfortunately, within months the tumour, which Gordon has called Rick (from the word turmeric), quickly progressed to being high-grade which brought his life-expectancy down further. Understandably this has led to Gordon experiencing anxiety at times.
Gordon is helping the Brain Tumour Research charity, as well as other brain tumour charities, to raise awareness of this devastating disease which kills more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer. Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour surviving beyond five years, compared with an average of 50% across all cancers.
His latest work, Bitter Sweet, was launched at the Edinburgh Comic Art Festival on Sunday 25 November and Gordon is donating 5% of all proceeds from sales to the Brain Tumour Research.
Gordon says: “Having a brain tumour has changed the way I live my life. When I am in my happy head, I often think I might not see too many more of these times, so I try to recognise good moments when I am in them and thank people who are there sharing them with me.
“Planning events in the future with friends, however, is hard because I don’t know whether I will still be here.
“I have also suffered badly at times with anxiety to the extent that I can’t even get out of bed and even if, in my head, I tell myself not to waste valuable time and to get up and have a shower, just doing it seems impossible.
“I started creating comic books after reading a book by Joe Sacco and then asking friends and family to give me their thoughts on cancer. My intention was to help them come to terms with my diagnosis, as well as being something cathartic for me.
“The current edition focuses on an inner dialogue where sometimes I am talking to sick me. It highlights some of the common side effects for cancer patients, including fatigue and guilt – for putting friends and family through a very heart-wrenching experience. I know I will end up putting people through this all over again when my tumour re-grows.”
Joe Woollcott, community fundraising manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: “For too long brain tumours have been a neglected cancer. We thank Gordon for generously donating proceeds from his comic book sales to the charity. Together we will find a cure.”
Brain Tumour Research is funding dedicated UK Research Centres of Excellence where scientists are focused on improving outcomes for patients and, ultimately, finding a cure. Historically, just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to brain tumours and the charity is lobbying the government and the larger cancer charities to increase this.
To purchase a copy of Gordon’s latest comic book priced at £10 go to https://heresrick.bigcartel.com
For further information, please contact:
Liz Fussey at Brain Tumour Research on 07811 068357 or Liz@braintumourresearch.org
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.