Parents of Darel at Westminster for launch of new cancer inquiry
The parents of a man who was killed by a brain tumour were at Westminster for the launch of a new Inquiry into the economic and social impacts of the disease.
Sara and Clifford Bryan, along with daughter, Claudine, joined other families, patients, campaigners, and charity workers at the invitation of the Rt Hon John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons and a Patron of the national charity Brain Tumour Research.
Model, businesswoman and brain tumour survivor Caprice was also at the event on Tuesday 6th March as the Inquiry, which will investigate the economic and social impacts of the disease, was opened. The Inquiry was announced by a group of cross-party MPs and peers on 28th February and will run throughout spring and summer.
The Bryans, who travelled from their home in Bellingham, in South London, were among the first to be invited to submit their evidence on a web forum facilitated by the charity. Their son, Darel, was diagnosed with multiple aggressive and incurable brain tumours, and, underwent gruelling radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment, as well as two craniotomies. Tragically, he passed away in February 2016, aged just 34.
In his memory, Darel’s partner, Natalie Overs of Bow, set up a fundraising group, The Darel Bryan Foundation, and family members, friends and work colleagues have taken part in a number of events to raise funds for Brain Tumour Research. Clarion Housing Group, where Sara works and also where Darel worked (both at the Bromley office) as a housing officer until he became ill, has chosen The Darel Bryan Foundation as their charity of the year and were represented at the Speaker’s House event by Sandra Sanglin, Head of Corporate Responsibility and Richard Hay, Customer Accounts Team Leader. Since his passing, The Darel Bryan Foundation with Clarion has raised over £100,000 in his memory.
Welcoming the Inquiry, Sara said: “I think it is hard to fully understand the impact a brain tumour diagnosis has on your family unless you’ve been through it. For example, Natalie spent days and, even weeks in hospital, both night and day with Darel, while we travelled backwards and forwards to give our son our support. The emotional burden is hard, there is the worry about money and disruption to work, as well as so many other things to think of.”
Natalie, who attended the event at Speaker’s House last year, said: “Darel endured six weeks of radiotherapy, 12 months of five different chemotherapies, two surgeries, over five months of hospital stays and every alternative and natural treatment we could lay our hands on, but his battle was never one he was going to win.”
In a nod to Wear A Hat Day, the fundraising campaign which takes place on Thursday 29th March, Caprice and other celebrity supporters including TV presenter Sarah Beeny, and celebrated milliner Noel Stewart, Sara, Clifford and Claudine donned their favourite headwear for a photo call.
The lack of investment in research into brain tumours, meaning treatments and survival rates lag significantly behind other cancers, has become a high-profile political issue with momentum building since January. Former Minister for Public Health and Culture Secretary, Tessa Jowell, who was diagnosed with a high grade glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) last year, received a standing ovation when she shared her story in the House of Lords.
The following month, the Government published the findings of a year-long Working Group including recommendations on how to increase the level and impact of research in brain tumours. An announcement revealing £45 million of research investment followed.
Sue Farrington Smith, Chief Executive of Brain Tumour Research, said: "Brain tumours have been a neglected form of cancer for decades, killing more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer. This Inquiry will shine a light on the social and economic impacts of brain tumours adding weight to our arguments and landing a huge urgency to our call for further funding to improve patient outcomes and offer much-needed hope to families.
“Whilst we welcome the funding announcement, the fact that the funds are spread over five years means that brain tumours remain a poor relation to other better-funded cancers.”
To take part in the inquiry go to www.braintumourresearch.org/campaigning/inquiry. The deadline for submissions is Friday 30th March.
For further information, please contact:
Liz Fussey at Brain Tumour Research on 07811 068357 or Liz@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.