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Press release

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

Mottingham widow urges local community to get their Hats on for Brain Tumour Research!

Mottingham widow urges local community to  get their Hats on for Brain Tumour Research!

A Mottingham woman, who lost her husband, aged 53, to a brain tumour, is inviting local people to help raise funds for scientists working to find a cure for brain tumours.

Glenn McMahon was 53 when he died in June 2015, having been diagnosed with an aggressive glioblastoma multiforme brain tumour after experiencing co-ordination problems on the golf course.  He had married Wendy in February 2014 and so knowing their time would be cut short, the couple set about making the most of their life together through travel, socialising and their mutual love of fine food.

Shocked that there was so little treatment available to Glenn and that his survival prognosis was just 12 to 18 months, the couple also started raising desperately needed funds for game-changing national charity, Brain Tumour Research. Since losing Glenn, Wendy has set up the Glenn McMahon Foundation under the charity’s umbrella. To date the Foundation has incredibly raised around £44,000, of which Wendy admits: “I am totally staggered and humbled by the generosity of friends and family over the past two and a half years since I lost Glenn.”

On Saturday 24th March, five days before Brain Tumour Research’s annual Wear A Hat Day, Wendy is holding a Mad Hatters Tea Party at St Luke’s Church, Bromley Common. She is inviting people to come along between 2.30 and 4.30pm wearing a silly hat and, for £5 payable on the door (free entry for children), they will be able to enjoy a lovely cream tea. Wendy promises: “There will be fun activities for the children including a magician and competitions, as well as the opportunity to eat lots of cake!”

She continues: “Every year more than 16,000 people are diagnosed with a brain tumour in the UK, and it is so distressing for the families involved. More research is vital if we are to understand what causes different types of brain tumour, and importantly find a cure for this devastating disease.

“The sorrow of losing Glenn is never far away. It is unbelievably cruel that he should be snatched away so soon after we found each other and were looking forward to spending the rest of our lives together. I have had great support from my two grown-up children, Hannah and Sam Doubleday. We are committed to support Brain Tumour Research and hope that people will join us in taking part in Wear A Hat Day this year by holding their own events or making a donation.”

On 29th March, Wear A Hat Day itself, Wendy will be at the Eltham branch of SpecSavers – the organisation is supporting Wear A Hat Day 2108 as an official sponsor for the first time. She will have a publicity stand, selling charity hat pin badges, pens and wristbands and she will be wearing a hat, along with the SpecSavers staff and encouraging people to donate to this worthy cause. Opticians can often spot the signs that someone may have a swelling within the brain which could point to them having a brain tumour when they come for their regular eye checks.

Wear A Hat Day has raised over a million pounds since it was launched by the charity Brain Tumour Research nine years ago and is the culmination of Brain Tumour Awareness Month in March. The big day will see schools, workplaces, families and individuals across the UK fundraising and taking part in fun events to raise awareness of brain tumours and help fund life-saving research.

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.

Among celebrity supporters of this year’s campaign is the businesswoman, model, actress and mum Caprice Bourret who underwent surgery to remove a low-grade brain tumour which was diagnosed nearly a year ago. She continues to be monitored by her medical team.

Caprice said: “I have been so touched by Glenn’s story. It’s incredible to hear about the work Wendy is doing fundraising for Brain Tumour Research in her husband’s memory. It’s terrible that brain tumours affect so many people. This devastating disease is indiscriminate and can affect anyone at any age.

“I’m proud to be working with this lovely family and so many others to support Wear A Hat Day. I want everyone to get involved! It’s such a fun event and anyone can take part. Let’s all put our hats on and so something positive to remember Glenn and support the fantastic research going on right now. I’m determined to try to make a difference for the 16,000 people diagnosed with a brain tumour each year.”

To get involved, or donate, please visit:

Or text HAT to 70660 to donate £5*


* Texts cost £5 plus network charge. Brain Tumour Research receives 100% of your donation. Obtain the bill payer’s permission. Call 01908 867200 with any queries.

For more information or to support the Glenn McMahon Foundation, email or to donate go to


For further information, please contact:
Liz Fussey at Brain Tumour Research on 07811 068357


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 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
  • 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.