Mum gets her Hat on for Brain Tumour Research in memory of daughter
A mum who lost her only child to an undiagnosed brain tumour is backing a national fundraising campaign to help find a cure for the disease.
Michelle Inman was just 29 years old and pregnant with her first child when she was struck down in June 2017. She was 11 weeks pregnant, happily married and running a successful IT business with her husband James when she was taken ill. She died within hours of her first symptoms, along with her unborn child.
Devastated by the loss, Michelle’s mum Cheryl Barnard, from Paignton, Devon, is working with the national charity Brain Tumour Research to support Wear A Hat Day which takes place on Thursday 29th March.
Wear A Hat Day has raised over a million pounds since it was launched by 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.
Cheryl lost her first husband Ron Darby, Michelle’s father, just four years before her daughter passed away and less than a fortnight after he was diagnosed with lung cancer. Last year, Cheryl remarried and, together with her groom Adrian Barnard, asked for donations to the charity rather than wedding gifts. Michelle grew up in Paignton and had made a home in Helmshore, Lancashire, when she died.
Cheryl said: “The sorrow of losing Michelle is never far away but we are plodding on and living our lives as best we can. It is unbelievably cruel that she should be snatched away from us in this shocking manner at the age of just 29 when she had so much to look forward to and was the happiest she had ever been. I have had great support from Adrian and we are doing the best we can to live with this sadness and we are committed to continuing to support Brain Tumour Research as it is vital that more money is spent on finding a cure for this devastating disease. We hope that people will join us in taking part in Wear A Hat Day this year.”
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 and continues to be monitored by her medical team.
Caprice said: “I have been so touched by Michelle’s story. It’s incredible to hear about the work Cheryl has done fundraising for Brain Tumour Research in her daughter’s memory. It’s just amazing 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 Michelle 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: www.wearahatday.org
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 further information, please contact:
Susan Castle-Smith at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 867206 or 07887 241639 or Susan@braintumourresearch.org
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 being 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
- Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age
- 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.