Mum-of-three’s legacy lives on at Research Centre of Excellence
A mum-of-three who died just weeks after her brain tumour diagnosis has been remembered at Imperial College London.
Amita Charavda, who helped to run the family-owned shop ‘Lucky Jewellers’ on Leicester’s Golden Mile for nearly 40 years, died of a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) – a highly aggressive type of tumour – in January 2014. Aged 55, she left her husband Mahendra, and their three daughters Bhavini, 38, Sneha, 36, and Charita, 32.
After losing her mum, Sneha challenged herself to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest mountain, to fundraise for the Brain Tumour Research charity.
In recognition of her fundraising, Sneha placed a tile on the Wall of Hope at the university, which represents the £2,740 it costs to fund a day of research. Sneha was joined by her husband Mehul, who also took on the Kilimanjaro climb, her two sisters and their dad, alongside her brother-in-law, Rahil Mandalia, and aunty and uncle, on Thursday 6 December.
The family also attended a tour of the research facility at Hammersmith Hospital and heard from lead scientist Dr Nelofer Syed about the work taking place there. They met Kevin O’Neill, a leading neuro-surgeon at Charing Cross Hospital who told them about how the research work was being translated into new surgical tools, such as the iKnife, which can differentiate between tumour and normal brain cells during surgery.
Sneha, a marketing manager from Rushey Mead, said: “I wanted to do something positive in memory of Mum, which would bring hope to other families who may be in a similar situation, so I challenged myself to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
“I gave myself a target to raise enough funds to sponsor a day of research and, thanks to the generosity of my family and friends, I was delighted to have raised £3,800, which was well over my target. I’m grateful that, in placing the tile, Mum’s legacy will live on.
“Mum was popular within the local community and I will never forget, on the day of her funeral, all the jewellers along Belgrave Road pulled down their shutters for 10 minutes as a mark of respect.”
Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated Research Centres of Excellence in the UK, including that at Imperial College London. 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.
Inspired by his sister-in-law’s achievements, Rahil, an anaesthetist at Leicester General Hospital, will be tackling next year’s prestigious London Marathon and aims to raise £6,000.
Carrie Bater, community fundraising manager at Brain Tumour Research in the Midlands, said: “We are extremely thankful for Sneha and her family’s ongoing support and it was moving to help them pay tribute to Amita at Imperial College London. Amita’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, go to https://www.braintumourresearch.org/donation
For further information, please contact:
Annie Slinn at the Brain Tumour Research charity on 01908 867239 or 07591 206545 or firstname.lastname@example.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.