Niece pays tribute to late auntie with Great North Run challenge
A woman, whose brain tumour symptoms were mistaken for depression, has inspired her niece to raise money for the Brain Tumour Research charity at the Great North Run.
Bekki Mullett, a dental nurse from Darlington, is running to raise money for research into the disease after the death of her auntie, Linda Egginton. Bekki, aged 27, is motivated by the fact that brain tumours 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.
Linda was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) – a highly aggressive type of brain tumour – after being taken to A&E with a suspected stroke. In the weeks prior to her diagnosis, the 59-year-old teaching assistant had been distressed, confused and unable to complete simple tasks such as planning lessons. Her GP prescribed anti-depressants, but when her left-side became limp and she started to slur her words, Linda was rushed to Darlington Memorial Hospital. Despite undergoing radiotherapy, the tumour’s growth couldn’t be halted and Linda died in January 2013, just three months after her diagnosis.
Bekki said: “I enjoy running but I’ve never taken on a distance like this before. It will be a big challenge but I’m determined to cross that finish line.
“Losing my auntie to a brain tumour was heart-breaking and it shocks me, even now, how quickly it all happened. What happened to Linda also opened my eyes to how prevalent the disease is and I want to somehow help change this. Hopefully by the time my four-year-old daughter is older, no more families will have to experience the devastation that we did.”
Bekki will be among thousands of runners taking part in the annual Great North Run, the world’s biggest half marathon. This year’s event takes place on 9th September, with runners taking their marks in Newcastle city centre before setting off on the 13.1-mile course and finishing at the coast in South Shields.
A team of 42 will be taking part and raising money for Brain Tumour Research which funds dedicated UK Centres of Excellence where scientists are focused on improving outcomes for patients and, ultimately, finding a cure.
Carol Robertson, Head of Community Fundraising for Brain Tumour Research, said: “We are extremely grateful for Bekki’s support and wish her all the best for the event. Linda’s story reminds us all 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 sponsor Bekki, please go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/bekki-mullett1
For further information, please contact:
Farel Williams at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 867221 or 07592 502708 or Farel.Williams@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.