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Press release

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

Man who inspired Bristol cancer and cardiac community to be remembered in Three Peaks Challenge

Man who inspired Bristol cancer and cardiac community to be remembered in Three Peaks Challenge

Friends and family of a Bristol man who did so much to help cancer and cardiac patients across the city to get fit will remember him this weekend in a Three Peaks Challenge.

Fitness instructor and personal trainer, Paul Emsley of Stoke Gifford focused on rehabilitating people with cancer and cardiac issues, until he was diagnosed with brain cancer in April 2017.

The ground-breaking Energise Bristol rehabilitation programme he set up in four Everyone Active gyms across the city won numerous awards and has now been extended to other parts of the south-west.

Paul, of Stoke Gifford, donated his bone marrow to blood cancer charity the Anthony Nolan Trust and was an active supporter of a number of cancer charities – so it was a tragic irony that he should be diagnosed with a cancer for which there is no cure. On 12th March, just 11 months after his diagnosis, Paul passed away, aged 54. Just days earlier, Paul had been presented with the Lord Mayor’s Medal for his inspiring work supporting cancer patients and fundraising for various charities.

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.

Paul’s wife Julie, a diabetic specialist nurse, is continuing his legacy to fund research at one of the Brain Tumour Research charity’s Centres of Excellence.

She explained: “A brain tumour is like an avalanche – it starts insidiously but gathers pace, destroying everything in its path.

“After Paul discovered his time was limited, he became passionate about helping to find a cure. We desperately need to bring about better outcomes for brain tumour patients so that there is hope for people diagnosed with this terrible disease and their families.

“Paul resolved that we should raise £41,100, the equivalent of 15 days of research. Sadly he was only with us long enough to launch the campaign.

“With the help of friends and family, including many of the people Paul helped via the rehabilitation programme, I am proud to say we are already over half-way to our target, having raised more than £21,000.

“On 21st and 22nd July, a group of seven will be taking on the Three Peaks Challenge, climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon, one after the other. I will be walking with my great friend Heather McKinney of Coleford who, like me, works at Southmead Hospital, Tiffany Gould, another good friend, as well as Alistair Macfarlane – Paul’s good friend and manager at Everyone Active, and his wife Rachael, along with one of the gym managers and one of the referral instructors.

“As Paul and I loved walking and hiking, and even spent our honeymoon trekking in the Himalayas, it seemed a very apt thing to do, although I am sure there will be a few tears.

“Also during the weekend, there will be a simultaneous event so that people back in Bristol can get involved. Using steppers in the gyms, they will attempt to replicate the heights of the Three Peaks. I am so grateful to Alistair and everyone at Everyone Active for their incredible support, including their fundraising spinathons earlier in the year which really helped boost our fundraising total.”

Alistair added: “Paul was such an inspiring and caring man that it really affected both work colleagues and gym clients alike when he passed away from brain cancer. Some of those work colleagues who can’t spare the whole weekend will be joining us for the final ascent of Snowdon. We would be delighted to welcome anyone wishing to support the cause to raise funds for vital research and they can join us for a prompt start at 11am on Sunday 22nd from the Pen-y-Pass carpark. Please note that you need to get there very early to be guaranteed a space or you can park in Nant Peris for the Park and Ride.”

Emma Cronin, Community Fundraising Manager for the Brain Tumour Research charity, said: “Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers.

“For too long, brain tumours have been a neglected cancer. Experiences like Paul’s remind us all that we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue. We are extremely grateful to Julie, her friends and family and Everyone Active gyms for their support. Together we will find a cure.”

To make a donation in memory of Paul to the Brain Tumour Research charity go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/julie-emsley1

 

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
  • 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.

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