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Press release

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

Teacher goes the extra mile for charity’s On Yer Bike campaign

Teacher goes the extra mile for charity’s On Yer Bike campaign

A teacher is gearing up to take on a 300-mile cycling challenge to help find a cure for brain tumours.

Ellen Lovatt, 44, who lives in Royal Wootton Bassett, is clipping in for charity and aiming to raise awareness of the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under the age of 40. By signing up to the Brain Tumour Research charity’s national On Yer Bike campaign, which runs throughout February, Ellen hopes to raise £300.

Ellen, who works as an Art teacher at Highworth Warneford School in Swindon, will clock up as many miles as she can after work and at the weekends. Her goal is to cycle at least 300 miles.

There are very personal motivations for Ellen’s challenge. Her dad, Derek Lovatt, of Burton upon Trent, died of a brain tumour in 2001, having endured two gruelling operations, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, aged 56.

Originally from Burton upon Trent, Ellen said: “I’m excited to take part in this fun campaign and I’m very grateful to my family and friends who have already supported me in my fundraising. I’m eager to find out just how many miles I can complete in one month and I’m sure I’ll see an improvement in my fitness. On Yer Bike will also be a fitting way to remember my dad, who was a keen cyclist and took me to watch cycling events as a child.

“Sadly, losing my dad wasn’t the only time my family have been affected by this cruel disease. I also lost my grandma, who died before I was born, to a brain tumour. It makes me sad to think of all the memories and happy times I’ve missed out on.”

Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age. What’s more, historically just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease, and Brain Tumour Research is proud to be changing this.

For many of the bike rides Ellen will be joined by her partner, Tim, 40, of Royal Wootton Bassett. Ellen has also drummed up support from her local running club, Royal Wootton Bassett Hounds, who have vowed to accompany her on some of the cycles.

This year’s On Yer Bike event, which was launched by former cycling champion Phil Corley, is expected to be popular with cyclists of all abilities. From those who enjoy spin classes at the gym, to road cyclists, and particularly those who are training for the big events as this year, for the first time, participants can track their progress on an all-new website www.onyerbikechallenge.org. Cyclists upload training and event mileage from their wearable technology and so compete against each other on an individual and team basis.

Tim Green, senior community fundraising manager at Brain Tumour Research in the South East, said: “We are extremely thankful for Ellen’s support and we hope she inspires cyclists of all abilities to take part in On Yer Bike for this important cause.”

Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated Research Centres of Excellence in the UK; 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.

For more information please go to www.onyerbikechallenge.org 

#OYB19

 

For further information, please contact:

Annie Slinn at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 867221 or 07592 502708 or annie.slinn@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) which published its report Brain Tumours A cost too much to bear? in 2018. Led by the charity, the report examines the economic and social impacts of a brain tumour diagnosis. We are also a key player 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, 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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