Two-year-old leads out teams for charity football match in memory of grandmother
A little girl from Banstead led the teams playing in a charity football match out onto the pitch at Sutton United FC last Friday 22nd June to raise funds to help find a cure for the disease which killed her grandmother, who also lived in Banstead.
Tragically, Sienna Still, who turned two at the end of May, never got to meet Sue Thomas, as her death in December 2015 came six months before she was born. Sue’s death, aged 57, from a brain tumour, led her husband, David, and their three grown-up children and son-in-law to set up a fundraising group under the umbrella of the national Brain Tumour Research charity, which they named The Song for Sue Foundation.
The match between a team from Merland Rise Church in Tadworth, led by Sienna’s dad, Lewis Still (married to Holly, one of Sue and David’s daughters) and a team from Kick London (a Christian charity which aims to transform young people’s lives through sport) led by Andy Dutton from Croydon, who lost his mother-in-law to cancer, was more closely fought than the score of 5-2 to Kick London indicates. Significantly it raised more than £1,800, which will be added to the more than £45,000 already raised by The Song for Sue Foundation in less than two years.
Lewis, a teacher at Epsom Downs Primary, and the match organiser, explained: “We are over the moon at the fundraising result which was partly due to the number of people who paid a donation of £20 to register to play, raising over £600 alone. We had to rotate players in order to give everyone a turn.
“We are very grateful to Sutton FC who gave us the venue for free and to everyone who bought tickets in the raffle – with the top prizes being a shirt signed by Usain Bolt and a rugby shirt signed by the Harlequins. It was amazing to have vouchers donated by local restaurants, as well as bottles of champagne and wine.
“We had fantastic support from the local community, including lots of children from Epsom Downs Primary who were particularly interested in taking part in the Beat the Goalie competition. We also welcomed 12-year-old singer, Natasha Cullen, who lived in Kingswood before moving recently to the US. Natasha sang for us at half-time, inspired by her uncle, also lost to a brain tumour.”
Lewis’s mother-in-law, Sue, was diagnosed initially with a low-grade brain tumour, but a year later it had become an aggressive and incurable glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and, despite chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment, nothing could save Sue.
Sue was a committed Christian and a dearly loved member of the Merland Rise congregation. Her family’s dearest wish is that The Song for Sue Foundation plays a vital part in finding a cure for brain tumours.
Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age. What’s more, they kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.
Tim Green, Community Fundraising Manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “For too long, brain tumours have been a neglected cancer. Stories like Sue’s remind us all that we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue.
“We are extremely grateful to Lewis for organising such a fantastic event and to Sue’s family and friends for helping to fundraise. The money raised will go towards Brain Tumour Research’s network of dedicated Centres of Excellence where scientists are focused on improving outcomes for patients and, ultimately, finding a cure.”
To make a donation to Brain Tumour Research in memory of Sue Thomas go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/songforsue
For further information, please contact:
Liz Fussey at Brain Tumour Research on 07811 068357 or email@example.com
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 have established a game-changing network of world-class Research Centres of Excellence in the UK. Embracing passionate member charities nationwide, over £6 million was raised towards research and support during 2017.
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 unprecedented success of our 2015 petition led to the 2016 Westminster Hall debate and Brain Tumour Research taking a leading role in the Government’s Task and Finish Working Group convened to tackle the historic underfunding for research with the report being published in 2018.
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 in the UK 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
- Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age
- 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.