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Press release

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

Runner who broke back in three places defies the odds to take on half marathon for charity

Runner who broke back in three places defies the odds to take on half marathon for charity

A runner who broke his back in three places after falling from a ladder is defying the odds and in training to complete a half marathon.

Kevin Bell, 47, from Tunbridge Wells, is determined to get back on track for the event which he will do in memory of his father Tony, who died just two months after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.

The self-employed oil trader and father of two was told he was lucky not to have been paralysed when he sustained three potentially crippling fractures to his back. Kevin, who was sawing a tree when he sustained the injury, said: “I feel so lucky not to have received any life-changing injuries, I thank my lucky stars every day. My back is far from perfect but I'm still aiming to beat my personal best."

Warned he wouldn’t be able to run for at least a year, Kevin’s determination has won through and he will take part in the Royal Parks Half Marathon on Sunday 14th October to raise money for the Brain Tumour Research charity.

After losing his dad, Kevin was shocked to find out that 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.

He said: When you become a father you have a responsibility to your kids which wasn’t there before. You suddenly become aware of your own mortality, so recently I’ve been mega-health conscious and determined to live a healthier lifestyle. I’m looking forward to taking on the Royal Parks Half Marathon and I hope I inspire others to fundraise for this vital cause.”

Kevin raised more than £12,000 for Brain Tumour Research when he ran the Virgin Money London Marathon in 2017. The charity funds a network of UK Centres of Excellence where scientists are focused on improving treatment options and, ultimately, finding a cure for brain tumours. It also campaigns for the Government and larger cancer charities to invest more nationally in research into the disease.

Tim Green, Senior Community Fundraising Manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: “We are extremely grateful for Kevin’s support and wish him the best of luck in completing the event. Tony’s story reminds us 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 Kevin, please go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kevin-bell13?utm_id=124

 

For further information, please contact:
Annie Slinn at the Brain Tumour Research charity on 01908 867239 or 07591 206545 or annie.slinn@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
  • 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.

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