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Press release

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

Tony Barrow to be remembered at the London Marathon

Tony Barrow to be remembered at the London Marathon

The widow of Tony Barrow is taking on the London Marathon to help fund a cure for the disease that claimed her husband’s life.

Ann-Marie Barrow, 36, is in training to run 26.2 miles for the Brain Tumour Research charity following the devastating loss of her husband Tony Barrow in 2017. Ann-Marie, who works as senior commissioning and transformation manager at NHS St Helens CCG, is aiming to raise £3,000 to help improve outcomes for brain tumour patients and to, ultimately, find a cure.

Ann-Marie, who lives in Windle, said: “I’m really nervous about the marathon but it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Tony’s memory spurs me on and I know it will all be worth it when I cross the finish line.”

Born and raised in Thatto Heath, St Helens, Tony followed in the footsteps of his dad, Tony Barrow Sr, to become a professional Rugby League player for Oldham RLFC and latterly Swinton Lions RLFC. In 2015, Tony was working as a personal trainer and as a senior childcare worker at Nugent House School in Billinge, when he was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).

The 45-year-old sportsman underwent surgery twice, endured radiotherapy and chemotherapy but he died less than two years later in March 2017, leaving Ann-Marie and his daughters Megan and Lucy.

Ann-Marie added: “When Tony was diagnosed with a GBM, we were so shocked that someone as fit and healthy as him could have such a poor prognosis. What’s more, the treatment options were so limited. I soon discovered that research into brain tumours is underfunded and as a result there have been no significant improvements for patients in years.

“Together with Tony’s friend Phil Green, I’m running to raise vital funds for research and also to raise awareness of this devastating disease. I hope we can inspire others to follow in our footsteps.”

Ann-Marie and Phil will join tens of thousands of runners pounding the streets of the capital at Virgin Money London Marathon, the world’s most famous running event, on Sunday 28 April 2019.

Andrew Pankiw, community fundraising manager for Brain Tumour Research in the North West, said: “Thank you to Ann-Marie for sharing Tony’s story and helping to raise awareness of the fact that brain tumours are indiscriminate and can affect anyone at any age. We wish her and Phil the best for the London Marathon and hope the St Helens community will help them to reach their fundraising target.

“Sadly, Tony’s story is not unique. Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40, and more men under 45 then prostate cancer, yet historically just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to cure, and we’re proud to be changing this.”

Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated 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.

To make a donation to Brain Tumour Research via Ann-Marie’s JustGiving page, go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Ann-Marie-Barrow-LM2019  

 

For further information, please contact:

Farel James at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 867221 or 07592 502708 or Farel.James@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 ground-breaking research 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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