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Press release

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

Mum’s marathon challenge inspired by three friends affected by brain tumours

Mum’s marathon challenge inspired by three friends affected by brain tumours

A mother-of-two with two friends diagnosed with brain tumours and a third lost to the same condition, has been inspired to tackle the London Marathon to help scientists find a cure for the disease.

Vicki Salmon, 39, from Lower Brailes near Banbury, will take part in this year’s event to help fund research into the disease that claimed the life of a father of three young children who lived in Willington.

Vicki and her husband Martin, a self-employed builder, first got to know Andy Bygate and his family when they were assistant leaders of Shipston Cub Scouts and their own son Edward was a member of the pack. She is already in training and is aiming to raise £3,000 for the Brain Tumour Research charity.

A nursery and reception teacher at Brailes Primary School, where she is also responsible for managing special educational needs, Vicki is mum to Edward, now 16, (a student at Chipping Camden School) and Faith, six, a pupil at Brailes Primary.

Ben Lindon, 39, from Malvern, a father of two young children is the friend who spurred Vicki to return to running, having first completed the London Marathon back in 2007, not long after the premature birth of Edward. Ben has been a friend of Vicki’s since the pair were both themselves teenagers at Chipping Camden School. He was diagnosed 10 years ago and underwent surgery and more than 120 cycles of chemotherapy. 

Vicki said: “Since my marathon challenge in 2007, apart from running around after my children, teaching PE and launching a kids’ marathon at school I haven’t managed to keep up jogging.

“I have been so inspired by Ben’s determination and how he has coped with all the obstacles life has thrown him. Amazingly he has undertaken fundraising challenges of his own for Brain Tumour Research including the London Marathon and cycling from John O’Groats to Land’s End and raised tens of thousands.

“With two further friends affected, including a colleague in the Stour Federation who was recently diagnosed and has just started radiotherapy treatment, I decided it was high time I helped make a difference for patients diagnosed with the biggest cancer killer of the under 40s. It is shocking that research into this devastating disease is so underfunded so I am hoping to inspire people to join me in fundraising for this vital cause.”

Vicki will join tens of thousands of runners pounding the streets of the capital at Virgin Money London Marathon, the world’s most famous running event, on Sunday 28 April 2019.

Money raised for Brain Tumour Research helps fund dedicated UK Research Centres of Excellence where scientists are focused on improving outcomes for patients and, ultimately, finding a cure. Historically, just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to brain tumours and the charity is lobbying the government and the larger cancer charities to increase this.

Paula Rastrick, community fundraising manager at Brain Tumour Research for the Central region, said: “Vicki’s enthusiasm to fundraise and help raise awareness of brain tumours is fantastic and we are extremely grateful for her support.

“Sadly, the disease kills more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer. We cannot allow this desperate situation to continue.”

To make a donation to Vicki’s fundraising go to

The London Marathon takes place on Sunday 28 April 2019. If you’ve been inspired by Vicki and want to run alongside her, contact


For further information, please contact:

Liz Fussey at Brain Tumour Research on 07811 068357 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) which published its report Brain Tumours A cost too much to bear? in 2018. Led by the charity, the report examines the economic and social impacts of a brain tumour diagnosis. We are also a key player 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.