Pedalling towards a cure: John Lewis & Partners High Wycombe takes on charity cycle challenge
Partners at John Lewis in High Wycombe are clipping in for charity in the national On Yer Bike challenge and fundraising for the Brain Tumour Research charity.
The store has chosen Brain Tumour Research as its charity of the year after losing two partners to brain tumours, including dad-of-two, Andy Graham, 52, on New Year’s Eve 2017, as well as other loved ones of partners. To date it has raised an incredible £5,242 to help find better outcomes for patients and, ultimately, a cure.
Andy, who worked at the High Wycombe store for 29 years and was a camera expert, started having dizzy spells in early 2016, which were put down to an inner ear infection. As the dizziness continued, he went back to the GP and was sent for a routine scan. Andy was diagnosed with a low-grade haemangioblastoma but, despite surgery and treatment, he suffered unimaginable trauma and distress as the tumour continued to grow.
After two bleeds on his brain, Andy was unresponsive in hospital in intensive care. On the advice of his medical team, Andy’s wife Gill took the heart-breaking decision that it was time to let him go.
Since losing her husband and dad to Oliver and Daniel, Gill said: “I’ve been shocked to learn just how many people are affected by brain tumours. The boys and I are trying to do our bit to raise awareness of this sad fact and we hope that one day a cure will put an end to all this suffering.”
To mark On Yer Bike day – Saturday 23 February – partners at the store will be jumping on a static bike and pedalling as many miles as they can throughout the weekend of 23 and 24 February.
Dawn Stokoe, partner & community liaison coordinator at John Lewis, High Wycombe ,said: “Having seen two of our partners succumb to brain tumours, we were all clear we wanted Brain Tumour Research to be our branch charity. So many partners have used their skills, creativity and energy to raise over £5,000 from events such as a chef-at-home silent auction to car washes and raffles and even a sponsored bush tucker trial. This has been a real team effort as we are totally behind Brain Tumour Research’s quest for a cure.”
On Yer Bike has been running since 2012 when it was launched as a local event by brain tumour patient Paul Halfpenny from Derbyshire. Sadly, Paul passed away in 2014 but the event continued and now takes place nationwide. Participants select a sponsorship target, set up a fundraising page and, for the first time, can track their performance and ranking on the national leader board.
Michele Grey, head of corporate fundraising for Brain Tumour Research, said: “We are very grateful to John Lewis and Andy’s family for their support. We hope they will inspire others and many more people will get on their bike this February.
“Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer yet, historically, just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease, and Brain Tumour Research is proud to be changing this. Together we will find a cure.”
Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated Centres of Excellence in the UK; 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.
To sign up for On Yer Bike, go to www.onyerbikechallenge.org
For further information, please contact:
Liz Fussey at Brain Tumour Research on 07811 068357 Liz@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 ground-breaking research 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.