Youngster sacrifices birthday presents in memory of friend
A young boy is sacrificing his birthday presents and chopping inches off his hair to fundraise for research into the disease that claimed his friend’s life.
All Leon Claridge wants for his birthday is to raise funds in memory of his friend. Unlike most children his age, he is asking for charity donations for his 12th birthday rather than the latest gadgets and toys. Leon will also mark the occasion by cutting 13 inches off his hair, which he has been growing for two years, to raise vital funds for the Brain Tumour Research charity.
Leon, who attends Drapers’ Academy in Romford, is inspired by his late friend Alex Field, who lived in Collier Row. Alex was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour in 2010 and died just 14 months later at the age of eight.
Through his charity chop, Leon is hoping to raise awareness of brain tumours and prevent others from suffering from the disease. His mum, Jodie Claridge, said: “Leon always looked up to Alex and he took it really hard when he died. It’s touching that he wants to keep Alex’s memory alive and do something positive in his name.
“It shocks me that brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet historically only 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease. No parent should have to see their child go through what Alex did.”
Janice Wright, community fundraising manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: “Not many children would forgo birthday presents to fundraise for charity so it’s heart-warming that Leon is doing in memory of his friend. We’re extremely grateful for his support and we hope that others will be inspired by his story.”
The money raised will help Brain Tumour Research to fund dedicated UK Research Centres of Excellence whilst influencing the Government and larger cancer charities to invest more nationally.
To sponsor Leon, go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/leon-claridge
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 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
- 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.