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Press release

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

Supporters of Song for Sue fund six days of research in six months in memory of beloved wife and mother

Jun 23, 2017

A fundraising group set up by the family of a Banstead woman who passed away in December 2015, have raised in the region of £18,000 since the launch, six months ago, of the Song for Sue Foundation in her memory under the umbrella of national charity Brain Tumour Research.  They recently visited the charity’s Centre of Excellence in Imperial College, London, which encompasses two sites – neurosurgery at Charing Cross Hospital and the research facility at Hammersmith Hospital, to put up six tiles on the Wall of Hope, representing the six days of research they have funded so far.

Sue Thomas of Acorn Close, Banstead, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in July 2013, but despite chemotherapy and radiotherapy, nothing could save her and Sue died at home aged 57.   Grieving husband David and their daughters, Rachael Thomas who lives in Motspur Park and Holly and son-in-law, Lewis Still of Ewell have organised a variety of fundraising events, including a very successful dinner dance at Surrey Downs Golf Club last year which raised over £12,000.

Before putting up their tiles, the family were given a tour of the research laboratories where lead scientist Dr Nelofer Syed talked about exciting research developments. They then visited the neuro-surgery unit, hearing from leading neuro-surgeon at Charing Cross, Mr Kevin O’Neil, about a number of innovations, including the new surgical tool, known as the iKnife, which can differentiate between tumour and normal brain cells during surgery.

David commented: “It has given me an incredible insight into the research being carried out and will be very helpful when I am asked how the Song for Sue Foundation’s monies are utilised.  Sue’s personality was very positive and constructive so it seems only fitting that what Song for Sue is doing is also positive and constructive.”

Rachael explained: “It was lovely to see what Song for Sue’s money is going towards and exciting to hear the new strides being taken in research.  It gives us hope that we’ll find a cure one day.”

Holly said: “When you look at the Wall of Hope and see each person who has lost their battle with a brain tumour or is still fighting, it’s good to know that something positive is coming out of a tragic story.  I am very proud of our achievements to date in memory of Mum.  We are aiming to hit £50,000 raised by Song for Sue by the end of 2018.”

Meanwhile, Sue’s sister, Gill Ballard, who grew up in Cheam, but now lives in Marbella, Spain, has also been fundraising for Song for Sue, raising an additional £3,165 through a sponsored walk which is to become an annual event.  This sum will bring the total number of days sponsored by the family and their supporters to seven.

Community Fundraising Manager for Brain Tumour Research, Tim Green said: “We are extremely grateful to everyone at Song for Sue for their amazing support.  Shockingly, less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years, yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.  It’s vital that campaigners like Dave, Rachael, Lewis and Holly help to shine the spotlight on this neglected cancer. We desperately need more awareness and research investment so we can find a cure.”

Brain Tumour Research is 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 charity, which receives no Government funding, is building a network of experts working at world-class Research Centres of Excellence in the UK, with four already established.

You can donate to Song for Sue via www.justgiving.com/fundraising/songforsue

To find out how you can support The Song for Sue Foundation in their fundraising, email dbthomas@hotmail.co.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 are building a game-changing network of world-class Research Centres of Excellence in the UK. Embracing passionate member charities nationwide, £5.5 million was raised towards research and support during 2016.

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 charity is celebrating a year of high-profile campaigning on this issue following the unprecedented success of its petition in 2016. Following that, Brain Tumour Research is now taking a leading role in the Government’s Task and Finish Working Group convened to tackle the historic underfunding for research.

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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