Superhero father and son’s epic run for research into brain tumours
Two superheroes and a team of colleagues wearing ski goggles were among those who took part in this year’s Great South Run for the Brain Tumour Research charity.
Father and son Sam, 31, and Chris Ellis, 53, from Waterlooville braved the warm weather and lived out their boyhood fantasies by dressing as Spider-Man while a 14-strong team from Portsmouth-based tour operator Peak Retreats took to the course wearing ski goggles (although no snow was reported).
The Spider-Men duo were inspired to take part by seven-year-old Harry St Ledger, from Portchester, who is living with a rare and incurable brain tumour. The Marvel superhero has been a pivotal character in his life; he chose to have the Spider-Man’s distinctive hooded and web-covered face to decorate the mask he had to wear during his gruelling radiotherapy sessions.
Sam, who works for Detect Fire and Security, said: “Though Dad and I were in Spider-Man outfits, it’s clear who the real hero is here. Harry and his family are friends of ours and we want to do all we can for Harry’s Appeal to raise vital funds for research to help find a cure. It was great to be joined by my dad on the day and we spurred each other on to finish the 10-mile route. While I enjoy keeping fit and completed the Great South Run five years ago, I was certainly ready for a nice cold beer and a hot bath as I crossed the finish line.”
The St Ledger family are working with Brain Tumour Research to raise awareness of brain tumours which kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer. They launched Harry’s Appeal for the charity and want to address the historic underfunding for research into brain tumours.
The team from Peak Retreats took part in memory of a colleague, Valerie Fouger, who died of a brain tumour five years ago. After collapsing on a skiing holiday, Valerie, who was in charge of client administration, was diagnosed with a brain tumour after falling into a coma. She endured several operations, chemotherapy and radiotherapy before passing away two years later on her 31st birthday in November 2013.
Nathalie Soma, one of the founders of Peak Retreats, said: “Crossing the finish line was a fantastic team effort, especially as many of us have never taken on a running challenge before. It was a wonderful way to pay tribute to a much-loved staff member and a loyal friend.”
Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at Research Centres of Excellence in the UK, including its centre at the University of Portsmouth; 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.
Tim Green, Senior Community Fundraising Manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: “We are extremely grateful for the support of Sam, Chris, Peak Retreats and everyone raising money for Brain Tumour Research on the day, and we congratulate them all in completing the event. Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers. We cannot allow this situation to continue.”
To sponsor the Sam and Chris, please go to https://bit.ly/2NM4uaj
To sponsor the Peak Retreats team, please go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/peakretreats
For further information, please contact:
Annie Slinn at the Brain Tumour Research charity on 01908 867239 or 07591 206545 or email@example.com.
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
- Historically, 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.