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Press release

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

Student raises a glass in pursuit of a cure for brain tumours

Student raises a glass in pursuit of a cure for brain tumours

A bereaved nephew is calling on friends and relatives to raise a glass in aid of research into brain tumours.

Rory Jones, a 19-year-old from Honley, Yorkshire, is encouraging people to drink a pint of Guinness and donate to the Brain Tumour Research charity in memory of his uncle, Mark Smith. Marking the second anniversary of his uncle’s death, Rory aims to raise £2,000 for the charity and pay tribute to his uncle’s Irish heritage.

The fundraising idea #guinnessformark began at the Cricketer’s Arms in Honley and escalated quickly. Now, many of those who knew Mark are taking part. Rory has assured partakers that any drink can be raised, if Guinness isn’t their choice of tipple. 

Rory, a student at The University of Nottingham, said: “The fundraising event started off as a bit of fun at my local pub. However, soon lots of people agreed to take part and I think it’s a perfect tribute to my uncle, who insisted on buying me my first pint, a Guinness.”

Mark Smith, a managing director at bed manufacturing company, Scallywag Kids, was diagnosed with a grade 4 brain tumour in September 2014, after suffering from confusion and problems with his balance. He underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy but passed away in July 2016 at the age of 57, just 22 months after his diagnosis.

Rory added: “Since my uncle passed away, my family have enjoyed fundraising. It’s really helped us deal with our bereavement. My brother, Patrick Jones, completed the London marathon and my sister, Alana Jones, has also embraced the Guinness challenge – her friends are really keen to get involved!”

Carol Robertson, Head of Community Fundraising for the Brain Tumour Research charity, said: “Rory’s fundraising event will be a fun way to raise awareness for this dreadful disease, which kills more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer. We hope others are inspired to raise a glass and make a donation to this worthy cause.”

To donate to the Brain Tumour Research charity via Rory’s JustGiving page, go to: 

For further information, please contact:
Annie Slinn at the Brain Tumour Research charity on 01908 867239 or 07591 206545 or

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.