Son living with a brain tumour honoured at research centre
Team members of Astro Brain Tumour Fund, who have all had loved ones affected by brain tumours and raised almost £1million towards research into the disease, were invited by the Brain Tumour Research charity to visit its Research Centre of Excellence at the University of Plymouth.
Among the Astro Brain Tumour Fund team at Plymouth was Trustee Linda Rickford, who lives in Coulsdon, Surrey. Her son, David, also of Coulsdon, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2008, aged 28, after having already been treated for and recovered from Hodgins Lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system). Despite suffering with excruciating headaches, constant fatigue and regularly vomiting, David’s symptoms weren’t taken seriously and it took an emergency appointment at a private hospital for him to be sent for CT and MRI scans which revealed a grade 2 ependymoma brain tumour.
Astro Brain Tumour Fund, a member charity of the Brain Tumour Research charity, raises funds solely for research into adult and paediatric low-grade brain tumours, making it unique in the UK. It also offers support to people around the globe whose lives are touched by this challenging type of brain tumour via a Facebook support group managed by Linda.
On Wednesday 13th June, Linda, along with five other Trustees, was invited by Brain Tumour Research to visit the research centre in Plymouth to see how all money raised contributes towards this vital research. The Astro Brain Tumour Fund team also had the opportunity to place four tiles on the Wall of Hope at the research centre.
The centre, one of four receiving funding from Brain Tumour Research, is focused on research to improve treatments for patients with brain tumours and, ultimately, finding a cure. Each tile laid on the wall represents the £2,740 it costs to fund a day of research.
Led by Prof. Oliver Hanemann, the team at the centre specialises in research into low-grade brain tumours. These tumours are usually slow-growing, but progress to become high-grade; there is no cure, and nobody can tell you whether this process will take five, 10 or 20 years.
Linda commented: “David lives with the permanent effects of his brain tumour which include difficulties with balance, coordination and vision. Today has been a fantastic opportunity for the Astro Brain Tumour Fund team to see how we are making a difference to researchers.”
She added: “The tiles we placed symbolise not only the money we’ve raised for research into low-grade brain tumours, but also commemorate everyone we have lost, and honour everyone living with the serious long-lasting effects caused by this disease and its treatment.”
Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age, yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.
Sue Farrington Smith, Chief Executive of the Brain Tumour Research charity, said: “We are very grateful to Linda and everyone at Astro Brain Tumour Fund for supporting research into low-grade brain tumours at our Centre of Excellence. We are really pleased they have been to see the research taking place at the University of Plymouth, and also place tiles on the Wall of Hope. Stories like David’s remind us all that we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue.”
To make a donation to Astro Brain Tumour Fund please go to www.astrofund.org.uk
For further information, please contact:
Liz Fussey at Brain Tumour Research on 07811 068357 or Liz@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.