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Press release

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

Plymouth goes hatty in aid of Brain Tumour Research

Plymouth goes hatty in aid of Brain Tumour Research

Businesses, schools, and families across the city donned their favourite hat last week in support of Brain Tumour Research’s annual Wear A Hat Day 2018, to help fund vital research into the disease.

Leading the way was Plymouth Citybus, who launched a special bus in partnership with Brain Tumour Research and the University of Plymouth on the charity’s annual Wear A Hat Day event (Thursday 29th March). 

Using state of the art graphics, the colourful bus has been designed to help raise awareness and funds needed for vital research as it travels throughout the South West for the next few years. The bus will also be used as a promotional vehicle at key fundraising events throughout the year, including the Britain's Ocean City 10k and Half Marathon races.   

The eye-catching bus has been designed to help raise awareness of the funding needed to continue research into a disease that affects thousands of families each year. The University of Plymouth is home to one of four Centres of Excellence set up by Brain Tumour Research, where scientists are focused on improving outcomes for patients and, ultimately, finding a cure.

Behind the wheel of the bus was Managing Director of Plymouth Citybus, Richard Stevens, who said: “To have a cutting-edge research facility on our doorstep is great for Plymouth and shows that the city is leading the way in research into brain tumours. We're proud to be supporting such a worthwhile cause and hope the striking new bus really helps to raise awareness of a disease that affects so many people each year. Passengers travelling on the bus will be able to donate on board as well as find out more about where the money raised will go."

A number of patients and families who have been affected by brain tumours joined the event to show their support. Heather Turner, 46, from Brixham, was diagnosed when she was 24 with a low-grade brain tumour. For Heather the only treatment option was surgery, but complications caused nerve damage leading to life-long difficulties including facial palsy and the loss of sight in one eye.   

Joining Heather was Plymouth based milliner and owner of Just Seven hat business, Trish Pentecost, who lost her father-in-law to brain tumour in 2010. Having participated in Wear A Hat Day for the last eight years, this year Trish chose to make her hat using supplies from Hobbycraft, who are a corporate partner for Wear A Hat Day 2018.
Also attending the event was Joanna Martin, 38, from Paignton, whose daughter Leah was diagnosed with a high-grade medulloblastoma brain tumour at the age of two. Now aged six, Leah continues to be a happy, playful little girl and is enjoying growing with her older sister Jasmine Joanna is the founder of Leah’s Fairy Fund, a fundraising group under the umbrella of Brain Tumour Research and so far, they have raised over £8,500.

Joining them were nurses from the neuro-oncology team at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth have been supporting the event by donning decorative headwear and encouraging their colleagues to join in the fun.  Every year patients of all ages, with many different types of low- and high-grade brain tumours, are treated by the expert team at Derriford.

Wear A Hat Day event has raised over a million pounds since it was launched by Brain Tumour Research nine years ago. The money raised funds research that is taking place at the charity’s four Centres of Excellence, including the one at the University of Plymouth. In the UK, 16,000 people each year are diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Emma Cronin, Fundraising Manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “I’m so pleased to see so many people from across Plymouth donning their hats and raising money for Wear a Hat Day 2018. We would like to thank everyone for their support. Every year thousands of people are given the news that they have a brain tumour and often the treatment options are limited. The money raised today will go towards pioneering research that is taking place at the University of Plymouth.” 

Prof Oliver Hanemann is the lead researcher at Brain Tumour Research’s Centre of Excellence in Plymouth. The team there is focussed on how low-grade brain tumours develop. These tumours are usually slow-growing but can become malignant. 

Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone, at any age. What’s more, they 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.

Among celebrity supporters of this year’s campaign is the businesswoman, model, actress and mum Caprice Bourret who underwent surgery to remove a low-grade brain tumour which was diagnosed nearly a year ago and continues to be monitored by her medical team.

To get involved, or donate, please visit: www.wearahatday.org or text HAT to 70660 to donate £5*

#HATTASTIC

* Texts cost £5 plus network charge. Brain Tumour Research receives 100% of your donation. Obtain the bill payer’s permission. Call 01908 867200 with any queries. 


For further information, please contact:
Lexie Jenkins at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 867222 or 07591 206545 or Lexie.Jenkins@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.

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