Siblings’ mission continues as dad reaches 10-year brain tumour milestone
A decade on from their dad’s brain tumour diagnosis, a brother and sister have hosted a fundraising day in aid of the Brain Tumour Research charity.
Aleze and Saul Patterson, aged 10 and 13 from Ashton-in-Makerfield, are one step further on their mission to help scientists find a cure for brain tumours. On Saturday 9 February, the selfless siblings raised £345 at a fundraising event at Sams Dry Bar Eatery. The proceeds were split between Brain Tumour Research and SAMS Armed Forces Hub.
In the lead up to the big day, the pair plastered posters around town and in their front window, handed out invites, advertised on Facebook and received raffle prizes from the likes of Everton Football Club, rugby star Phil Vickery’s Raging Bull Clothing, and East Lancashire Railway. A tombola, face painting, and food and drink also kept people entertained on the day.
The brother and sister were motivated by their dad Chris Patterson who was diagnosed in January 2009 after suffering a seizure at work. There was a high risk of paralysis if Chris opted for surgery so he decided to ‘watch and wait’ and, with his wife Gemma, they focused on a happy family life with Aleze and Saul. A decade on, however, Chris has regular seizures and recent scans have found two more brain tumours.
Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers.
Gemma, who cares for Chris full-time, said: “Aleze and Saul are so caring and they amaze me with their determination to fundraise. They organised a fantastic day and Chris and I are extremely proud of them. No child should have to grow up worrying about their parents’ health and I hope by the time they’re adults, we will be much closer to a cure for this horrible disease.”
Andrea Pankiw, community fundraising manager for Brain Tumour Research in the North West, said: “Aleze and Saul are such thoughtful kids and we’re delighted that they have chosen to support Brain Tumour Research. They are an inspiration to us all and prove that anyone and everyone can do something to support research into this awful disease. We’re extremely pleased to hear that Chris has defied the odds and lived beyond five years and we wish him all the best.
“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, historically, just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease, and we’re proud to be changing this.”
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.
If you’ve been inspired by Aleze and Saul, make a donation at https://www.braintumourresearch.org/donation/donate-now
For further information, please contact:
Farel James at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 8672221 or 07592 502708 or Farel.James@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 represented on the Steering Group 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.