Sisters vow to make a difference in late friend’s memory
Two sisters are vowing to make a difference in tribute to a friend who died less than a year after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.
Devastated by the death of their friend, Daniel Dewar, Belinda and Stephanie Ensten are taking part in ultra-marathon Race to the King to raise funds for the Brain Tumour Research charity. The sisters hope to raise at least £1,000 towards research into the disease which kills more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer.
Daniel was diagnosed with a low-grade brain tumour in November 2017, just six months later, however, his diagnosis changed to an aggressive grade 4 tumour known as a diffuse midline glioma. The 27-year-old underwent radiotherapy but died in October 2018, less than a year after his initial diagnosis.
Belinda, a 26-year-old midwife from Kilburn, said: “Dan’s loyalty, support, courage and humour were unwavering and it’s heart-breaking that this disease has taken him away so cruelly. Being beside him as he quickly deteriorated was tough but it’s inspiring me to keep going whilst doing something positive in his memory.”
The sisters’ challenge will see them run a double marathon along the South Downs Way in June 2019. On day one, they will run for 23.4 miles and climb 2,718ft, followed by a 30-mile run and 2,333ft climb on day two.
Stephanie, who lives in Lewisham, said: “Race to the King is going to be tough but it’s nothing compared to what Dan went through after his diagnosis and what his family are going through now. It shocked me how poor his prognosis was and opened my eyes to how much more needs to be done for brain tumour patients.”
Belinda and Stephanie are also organising charity pub quizzes in London and Suffolk in support of the charity. 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.
Janice Wright, community fundraising manager for Brain Tumour Research in London, said: “Belinda and Stephanie’s determination to fundraise for us is incredible and we hope they will inspire others to support research into this disease. Best of luck to them as they train for their challenge.
“Dan’s story reminds us that brain tumours kill more men under the age of 45 than prostate cancer. What’s more, historically, just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease, and we are proud to be changing this.”
To make a donation, go to https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/TeamDewar1
For further information, please contact:
Farel James at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 867221 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 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.