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Press release

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

Woman defies broken wrist and completes Four Peaks Challenge

Woman defies broken wrist and completes Four Peaks Challenge

A woman who broke her wrist during training for the Lakeland 3000s Sunset Challenge has finally completed the 24-mile walk and 10,000ft ascent in aid of the Brain Tumour Research charity.

Claire Rawlinson, of Cockermouth, covered 24 miles in 16 hours to successfully climb Skiddaw, Helvellyn, Scafell and Scafell Pike in the Lake District. Her achievement comes after breaking her wrist whilst training.

Despite undergoing an operation and having a metal plate and six screws fitted into her wrist, Claire was motivated to resume training after the deaths of her close friends, Wendy Dempster and Diana Clark, who had both been diagnosed with brain tumours. Like Claire, the women were members of the Cockermouth and District Soroptimist group.

Wendy was diagnosed with a brain tumour in January 2018 and died just five months later on May 31st at the age of 78.  A prominent member of the community, Wendy was a former headteacher, a founding member of the local Soroptimist group, a founding member of Cockermouth Swimming Pool fundraising committee, a former president of the local Girl Guide Association, and a former chairman of Lorton Parish Council.

Diana, 73, was also well known within the community after moving to Bridekirk in 2002. She had worked as a manager at Save the Children in Cockermouth, and was an active member of the Soroptimists, WI, and her local church. Diana died from a brain tumour on 20 April 2018, just three months after her diagnosis.

Claire, who works as a Commercial Manager for International Nuclear Services, said: “I’ve had a few hiccups along the way, to say the least, but I’m so happy I made it and raised all the money for the charity! What happened to Diana and Wendy was devastating and that spurred me on the whole way. I’m also so grateful to Lakeland Mountain Guides because without them, I wouldn’t have been able to reorganise the challenge and continue fundraising.

“I was dismayed when both Diana and Wendy were diagnosed with brain tumours. It was all the more upsetting because they deteriorated so quickly. Our whole group is devastated, and our president, Helen Lord, has chosen the Brain Tumour Research charity as her charity of the year in their memory.”


The Cockermouth and District Soroptimists have also supported Brain Tumour Research by joining its national Do Lunch! campaign. The group hosted a dinner for 40 people with a raffle and fundraising activities. Mayor of Cockermouth, Cllr. David Malloy, who has also chosen Brain Tumour Research as his charity of the year, was also in attendance. 

Andrea Pankiw, Community Fundraising Manager for the Brain Tumour Research charity, said: “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.

“For too long, brain tumours have been a neglected cancer. Experiences like Diana’s and Wendy’s remind us all that we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue. We are extremely grateful to Claire, Helen, and the Soroptimists for their support. Together we will find a cure.”

 
To donate to the Brain Tumour Research charity via the Cockermouth and District Soroptimists, click here https://www.justgiving.com/companyteams/BrightideasSI 


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 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). We are supporting the crucial APPGBT 2018 Inquiry into the economic and social impacts of brain tumours and will publish their report in the autumn. We are also a key influencer 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
  • 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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