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

Lola’s legacy: £19,000 raised in memory of treasured toddler

Lola’s legacy: £19,000 raised in memory of treasured toddler

A charity ball has helped a bereaved family raise nearly £20,000 in memory of their two-year-old daughter.

Lola Rice, from Shoreham-by-Sea, died just a day after she was diagnosed with a type of tumour known as an ependymoblastoma, in 2006, leaving distraught parents Michelle De La Motte-Rice and John Rice, and her baby sister Ava.

Now, 12 years on from Lola’s death, her family has raised £19,180 for the Brain Tumour Research charity, through various fundraising events. Most recently, on Saturday 3rd November, they held a ball at The Grand Hotel in Brighton, which raised £8,000.

The event included a delicious three-course meal, a performance from Spice the drag artist, a toast from Worthing town Cryer Bob Smytherman and live music from accomplished saxophonist Alice Schooley, who performed a selection of solos at the scenic seafront location. Guests then tried their luck in a charity auction and raffle, before dancing the night away to the live band Swamp Cats and a set from DJ Disco Dude.

Michelle said: “When we held the first fundraising ball in 2014, it was full of family, friends and colleagues, and most of them hadn’t been in the same room together since Lola’s funeral. This year was the third time I’ve organised the ball with my friend Josie Weaver, owner of Vivacious Events, who has always been instrumental in organising the ball. Our sponsors Barratt Southern Countries also provided a great support, and local companies donated prizes.”

Michelle, 43 added: “It’s heart-breaking that my daughters Ava, Reya and Lila-Bleu, who are all under the age of 13, will have to grow up without their eldest sister. Lola has left a massive void in all our lives, one that we will never get over. To lose a child is truly heart breaking and life altering. We miss her every day.”

Since losing Lola, Michelle has set up a business ‘Gifts for Angels’ in memory of her daughter, which offers handmade and bespoke grave accessories and sympathy gifts.

Michelle continued: “Fundraising for Brain Tumour Research has been a good way to channel my emotions and it’s helped John and I come to terms with our loss. We hope to host the ball for many years to come as it’s a fantastic way to continue Lola’s legacy.”

Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at Research Centres of Excellence in the UK. 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.

Tim Green, senior community fundraising manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: “We are extremely grateful for the ongoing support of Michelle, John and the all their friends and family members, who have helped to raise such a phenomenal amount in memory of Lola. Lola’s story reminds us that less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers. We cannot allow this situation to continue.”

To donate to Brain Tumour Research, please go to


For further information, please contact:
Annie Slinn at the Brain Tumour Research charity 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
  • 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.