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Press release

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

Schoolboy lost to brain tumour remembered as national Wear A Hat Day fundraising campaign launched

Mar 6, 2018

The family of schoolboy Fin Church who was lost to a brain tumour have helped to launch a national fundraising campaign to find a cure for the disease.

Hat-lover Fin, who was named a Child of Courage at the Pride of Birmingham Awards, died in November 2015, 17 months after he was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a very aggressive brain tumour.

During his illness, Fin dedicated himself to fundraising became the Guinness world record holder for the longest number of teddy bears in a line. A big fan of hats, Fin’s headwear of choice was a police hat and the West Midlands force now has a service dog named after him. Another world record was set in his memory when, on what would have been his 12th birthday, friends and family came together to create the longest line of hats.

His parents Penny and Wayne, from Alvechurch, West Midlands, have continued their son’s legacy, raising thousands of pounds for the national charity Brain Tumour Research and on Saturday (3rd March) they joined businesswoman, model and brain tumour survivor Caprice Bourret, to launch Wear A Hat Day 2018 which takes place on Thursday 29th March.

Caprice underwent surgery to remove a low-grade brain tumour which was diagnosed a year ago and continues to be monitored by her medical team. Launching Wear A Hat Day 2018, she said: “I have been so touched by Fin’s story. It is a sad fact that brain tumours affect so many people and that this devastating disease is indiscriminate and can affect anyone at any age – I never even used to get headaches before I was diagnosed.

“I’m proud to be working with Penny and Wayne and so many others to support Wear A Hat Day. I want everyone to get involved! It’s such a fun event and anyone can take part. Let’s all put our hats on and do something positive to remember Fin and support the fantastic research going on right now. I‘m determined to try to make a difference for the 16,000 people diagnosed with a brain tumour each year.”

Penny said: “We fought as hard as we could for Fin and were sickened to learn that the treatment for brain cancer is antiquated and barbaric, as cruel as the disease itself. Along with Fin’s brother and sister Tegan and Kenzie, we are doing the best we can to get on with our lives. We remain committed to doing everything we can to ensure no other family has to go through the nightmare we have endured.

“We are determined to continue Fin’s great work and I hope lots of people will make a difference by taking part in Wear A Hat Day.”

Other high-profile names supporting Wear A Hat Day 2018 alongside Caprice are television, radio and stage performer, Debbie McGee, who lost husband Paul Daniels to a brain tumour in 2016 and actor and author Sheila Hancock CBE, whose grandson survived a childhood brain tumour. Specsavers will be supporting Wear A Hat Day 2018 as an official sponsor for the first time.

Wear A Hat Day has raised over a million pounds since it was launched by Brain Tumour Research nine years ago and is the culmination of Brain Tumour Awareness Month in March. The big day will see schools, workplaces, families and individuals across the UK fundraising and taking part in fun events to raise awareness of brain tumours and help fund life-saving research.

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.

Funds raised through Wear A Hat Day 2018 will develop the charity’s network of world-class brain tumour research centres in the UK.

To get involved, or donate, please visit:

Or text HAT to 70660 to donate £5*


* 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:
Susan Castle-Smith at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 867206 or 07887 241639 or


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.