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Press release

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

South Brent woman, formerly from Paignton, runs London Marathon to help scientists find a cure

South Brent woman, formerly from Paignton, runs London Marathon to help scientists find a cure

A woman who grew up in Paignton, spending the first 27 years of her life there, before moving to South Brent, has completed the London Marathon to raise funds to help scientists find a cure for the disease which has had a profound effect on a little girl from Paignton.

Natalie Cook, 37, Office Manager at Luscombe Drinks, was inspired to take on the marathon challenge by the daughter of a work colleague. IT & Engineering Manager Wayne Martin’s little girl, Leah was diagnosed with a high-grade medulloblastoma at the age of two and underwent several operations, as well as chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment. Now six and a pupil at Roselands Primary School (which Natalie also attended), Leah has been left with long-term side effects, including problems with her speech, vision, hearing and mobility and is currently undergoing hormone treatment to help her grow.

Leah’s family have set up Leah’s Fairy Fund, a fundraising group under the umbrella of Brain Tumour Research, to fund vital research. The charity has four research Centres of Excellence, including one within the University of Plymouth.

Now, Natalie has raised more than £3,500 (including offline donations) for the pioneering charity Brain Tumour Research which will help fund scientists within its Centres of Excellence who are focused on improving outcomes for patients and, ultimately, finding a cure.

Natalie said: “I have seen the devastation this disease causes to families. For obvious reasons, raising funds for research into brain tumours is a cause very close to my heart. I hope that my marathon effort will also help to raise awareness of the shocking statistics around this disease.

“Running the London Marathon was hard and very hot but it was a great idea to wear fairy wings for Leah. I had lots of encouragement from spectators, particularly from all the little girls in the crowd, and that and the real party atmosphere kept me going!”

Natalie was among 40,000 runners taking part in the event which was started by The Queen from the grounds of Windsor Castle and relayed to big screens at the start line in Blackheath. It was the 38th London Marathon to take place since the first on 29th March 1981.

Michael Thelwall, Head of Community Fundraising for Brain Tumour Research, said: “Natalie’s determination and commitment are fantastic and I hope she will provide inspiration to others whose lives have been affected by a brain tumour.

“Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer – and more men under 45 than prostate cancer – yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.

“For too long, brain tumours have been a neglected cancer. Experiences like Leah’s remind us all that we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue. We are extremely grateful to Natalie and offer our congratulations to everyone who took part in this year’s event to raise money for charity.”

Make a donation to Brain Tumour Research via Natalie’s JustGiving page.

 

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 published in February 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
  • 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.

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