Ukulele players get their Hats on for Brain Tumour Research!
A retired teacher from Hemel Hempstead is urging fellow musicians across Hertfordshire to put on their hats and pick up their ukuleles to raise funds for scientists working to find a cure for brain tumours.
Jacky Atkins, who plays her own uke with the U3A Dacorum ukulele group, ‘UkeRhythmics’, is encouraging other local bands to get involved in Wear A Hat Day, which this year, takes place on Thursday 29th March across the UK.
Jacky’s granddaughter, Holly Atkins Fooks, was just 11 years old when she passed away last September, only 15 months after being diagnosed with a highly aggressive brain tumour, for which there is no cure. She endured surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, but her family and friends were devastated as the tumour grew back, leaving Holly bedbound in her final weeks.
Jacky, who taught at Gade Valley Primary School in Hemel Hempstead for 40 years, before retiring four years ago said: “Holly was full of life, funny and happy. She loved playing with her dolls, loved animals, she had just discovered make up, and loved to boss her poor granddads around when she played schools with them. We shared the same birthday, and on 2nd January 2017, we both wore inflatable golden crowns like the queen. She was 11 and I was a bit older! We had a lovely family gathering and lots of fun. Looking back, I realise how precious times like this were. It’s just been January 2018 and I have had another birthday but Holly is not here anymore. There should have been someone else sharing my special day.”
Members of the twenty-strong ‘UkeRhythmics’ band, will be donning fancy hats to show their support and raise funds for Brian Tumour Research at ‘UKEFEST’, an annual ukulele festival being held at Rickmansworth School, Scots Hill, on Sunday 18th March. Jacky hopes many other local groups taking part in the festival will bring along their headwear and help to raise awareness.
Wear A Hat Day has raised over a million pounds since it was launched by the charity Brain Tumour Research nine years ago and is the culmination of Brain Tumour Awareness Month in March. The big day will see schools, workplaces, families and individuals across the UK fundraising and taking part in fun events to raise awareness of brain tumours and help fund life-saving research.
Brain tumours 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. Funds raised through Wear A Hat Day 2018 will develop the charity’s network of world-class brain tumour research centres in the UK.
Paula Rastrick, Community Fundraising Manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: “Sadly, Holly’s story is not unique. Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone, at any age. We are extremely grateful to Jacky for getting involved, and hope people will be inspired to hold their own events. It’s as easy as wearing a hat and making a donation!”
To get involved, or donate, please visit: www.wearahatday.org
Or text HAT to 70660 to donate £5*
* Texts cost £5 plus network charge. Brain Tumour Research receives 100% of your donation. Obtain the bill payer’s permission. Call 01908 867200 with any queries.
For further information, please contact:
Susan Castle-Smith at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 867206 or 07887 241639 or Susan@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 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 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.