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Press release

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

Uni graduate marks six-year-anniversary of his dad’s death

Uni graduate marks six-year-anniversary of his dad’s death

A university graduate has helped to raise over £2,000 for a charity which funds research into the disease which killed his father.

When Michael Legg, 23, started his computer science degree at the University of Plymouth in 2015, he set out to raise £2,740 for the Brain Tumour Research charity which supports sustainable research at dedicated UK Centres of Excellence – one of which is based at the University of Plymouth.

Two weeks after his last day as a student, and six years on from his dad’s death, Michael’s fundraising efforts were acknowledged at the Centre of Excellence. Along with his mum, Juliet, and brother, Jamie, Michael was invited to place a tile on the Wall of Hope with each tile representing the £2,740 it costs to fund a day of research.

Nigel Legg, from Sonning Common in Oxfordshire, began to experience balance issues and severe neck pain in early March 2012. By the end of the month, his legs were giving way, he was disorientated and he struggled to keep food or water down. GPs prescribed painkillers and anti-sickness medication until Nigel was eventually referred for an MRI scan in April which revealed a grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most aggressive type of brain cancer. Nigel, a software engineer for Three in Maidenhead, immediately underwent surgery to remove part of the tumour but sadly it grew rapidly over the weeks that followed, taking over almost half of his brain. On 10th June, one day before he was due to start chemotherapy and radiotherapy, Nigel died, leaving his sons, Michael and Jamie, and wife, Juliet.

Since Nigel’s death, the Legg family have raised over £6,000 for the Brain Tumour Research charity, through a variety of events including fundraising walks and the charity’s annual Wear a Hat Day event. Michael said: “Visiting the lab and placing a tile on the Wall of Hope has been a significant moment as I know dad would be really proud. Vital research is taking place here and it’s extremely important to me that it continues as this is the only way a cure can be found.” 

Jamie Legg, 18, is also following in his dad and brother’s footsteps by electing to study computer science at the University of Portsmouth, where another of the Brain Tumour Research Centres of Excellence is based. The Legg family placed their first tile in Nigel’s memory here in 2013. 

Juliet, who works as an Information Researcher at Thales in Reading, said: “Fundraising for research into brain tumours is a cause extremely close to my heart and I’m so proud of my sons for helping to raise money too. It’s touching that we now have a tile placed for Nigel at both our sons’ universities.”

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. 
According to the Brain Tumour Research charity, less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years, compared with an average of 50% across all cancers. 

Michael Thelwall, Head of Community Fundraising for the Brain Tumour Research charity, said: “We are really grateful to Michael, Juliet and Jamie for raising vital funds to support important research into a disease which affects so many people and their families each year. Stories like Nigel’s remind us all that we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue.”

To make a donation to Brain Tumour Research go to: https://www.braintumourresearch.org/donation 


For further information, please contact:
Farel Williams at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 867221 or 07592 502708 or Farel.Williams@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 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.

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