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Press release

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

Student cycles 100 miles for the Brain Tumour Research charity

Student cycles 100 miles for the Brain Tumour Research charity

A student from Guildford has completed Prudential RideLondon in memory of her great-aunt who died from a brain tumour.

Imogen Blake, 24, was inspired to take part in the 100-mile cycling challenge after Angela Mason OBE JP, a former chairman of magistrates at Birmingham Magistrates Court, died from a brain tumour. Through completing the challenge, Imogen has raised over £1,100 for the Brain Tumour Research charity which helps to fund research into the disease.

Angela, from Harborne in Birmingham, was admitted to hospital after a seizure and initially diagnosed with an encephalitic infection. Two months later, when her speech became muddled and confused, she was readmitted to hospital where doctors diagnosed her with a grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a highly aggressive type of brain tumour. Angela was given six to nine months to live but her health deteriorated rapidly and she passed away in July 2016, three days after her 68th birthday and six months after her first symptom.

Awarded an OBE in 2002 for services to the Administration of Justice in Birmingham, Angela had a successful career in law as well as volunteering for St. John’s Ambulance and, in her retirement, conducting funerals.

Her great-niece, Imogen, who studies Sport and Exercise Psychology at Brunel University, said: “Considering I didn’t own a road bike until January, I’m thrilled to say I’ve completed RideLondon. It wasn’t easy but I’m glad I saw it through to the end!

“Raising this money in memory of Angela was really important to me and although she left a big hole in our lives, she continues to inspire me. I know she would have been proud seeing me cross that finish line and I’m so pleased to have done it in her honour.”


Imogen was among 24 cyclists supporting the charity by taking part in Prudential RideLondon, described as “the world’s greatest festival of cycling.” Some 25,000 took to the roads for the 100-mile sportive which set off from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London on Sunday 29th July before heading through the capital and out into the Surrey countryside and finishing on The Mall.

Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer but just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease. The charity is striving to fund a network of seven dedicated research centres whilst challenging the government and larger cancer charities to invest more in brain tumour research.

Tim Green, Senior Community Fundraising Manager for the Brain Tumour Research charity, said: “For too long, brain tumours have been a neglected cancer. Angela’s story reminds us all that we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue. We are extremely grateful to Imogen for her support and congratulate her on completing the event.”

To make a donation to Brain Tumour Research via Imogen’s JustGiving page, go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/imogen-blake 


For further information, please contact:
Farel Williams at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 867221 or 07592 502708 or Farel.Williams@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 basic research groundwork 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). We are supporting the crucial APPGBT 2018 Inquiry into the economic and social impacts of brain tumours and will publish their report in the autumn. We are also a key influencer 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
  • 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.

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