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A key aim of our strategy is raising awareness across the board of researchers, policy makers and the general public, thereby driving change towards defeating brain tumours. We could not achieve this without the continued endorsement of our high-profile supporters who work alongside our campaigns, initiatives, our reports and our research.
Philippa champions our HeadSmart early diagnosis campaign following her son Fred's, brain tumour diagnosis.
“On my husband's birthday in 2016 we were told that it was likely that our fifteen year old son Fred would die. A moment that will live in my heart forever."
Philippa's son Fred started suffering from exhaustion and struggling to concentrate at school back in 2016 but everyone assured her it was normal for a teenager.
However, when persistent headaches kept happening, Philippa sought medical advice: “I took him to the doctor, who said they were migraines, which made perfect sense because that's what my husband and I both have."
During the 2016 summer holidays, Fred was still complaining that his computer screen was making his head hurt, something was not right. Another trip to another doctor followed.
“The eye doctor said, 'I want you to have an MRI scan immediately."
After arriving at hospital, Fred had a huge seizure
“His whole body went rigid. His eyes went into the back of his head; he was groaning; he smashed his head against the wall. I tried to hold him but I just couldn't, so my husband ran to get help. We were rushed to an emergency room."
Fred's scans revealed a rare PGNT glioma brain tumour. For Fred's parents, the news was devastating.
Following surgery and regular scans Fred, now 17, has made a good recovery, his resilience shining through.
“Early diagnosis is key. If I hadn't taken him to the eye doctor we could have lost him. Often the tumour isn't spotted and the person just dies because there isn't time to save them.
“We have been incredibly lucky."
Read the full article here
In the last, third, series of The Missing, Tchéky Karyo's detective character, Julien Baptiste, was diagnosed with a brain tumour. The devastating effects of this on his work, the case and his family relationships was expertly portrayed, garnering praise from the brain tumour community and viewers of the hugely successful drama.
Tchéky recently featured during our BTAM 2017 campaign and continues to support our work. The French-Turkish actor also supports a French cystic fibrosis charity.
“Best of luck for all the people you fight for."
The Missing series 3 was one of the highest viewed UK shows of the last year.
Tom has continued to support us over many years in our drive to raise awareness and much-needed funds for vital research.
“In just one month alone over 800 people will be diagnosed with a brain tumour. I'm honoured to be part of this charity that's really close to my heart. Together, we can save lives."
Read more about Tom's support, losing his dad to a brain tumour and the importance of continued funds for research here.
“I am pleased to support The Brain Tumour Charity's aims of defeating brain tumours, the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40. Through their fundraising, research and support they are driving real change to tackle this devastating disease."
Casualty star Jason and his wife Kate, are close friends of Ella's Fosbury-Hill's parents. Ella lost her life to a brain tumour in 2013 at the age of 11.
“Ella's loss was devastating and, as friends, it was hard to watch such a wonderful little girl succumb to such a cruel disease and watch the impact on her family."
“Working on the Casualty storyline brought back memories of Ella's devastating diagnosis and the feeling of wanting to believe there is hope – even when there is none.
“I know that more can be done to treat and possibly cure this disease and prevent the awful suffering it causes for those affected and their families.
“Now I am backing The Brain Tumour Charity because I support its mission to defeat brain tumours so that other families are saved the heartache I've seen Ella's family endure."
Olivia supports our work in defeating brain tumours and our drive for more vital funds for research. She will be at the forefront of our Brain Tumour Awareness Month, March 2017.
Watch Olivia's message of support for us.
Together with lead singer Tim Burgess, the band have continued to support us in our aims of raising awareness, support and funds for vital research into brain tumours.
The band's hugely talented and much-loved drummer, Jon Brookes, died of a brain tumour in 2013.
"When my husband Ross received his diagnosis, our world changed forever. Getting a brain cancer diagnosis is scary, especially when you then hear how little funding goes towards brain cancer research. It's heartbreaking. You are left feeling no-one is even looking for answers, working out how to cure this deadly disease. How will we ever do that without support.
“That's why The Brain Tumour Charity's work is essential. Don't wait until someone close to you, or even you, is affected by this disease, do your best to support their work now. Together we can have a huge impact.
For people like me, knowing that research is happening, is hope. It's worth holding out for."
Ross sadly passed away in July 2017.
Dillon St.Paul is a multi-award winning Art Director with over 16 years in the media and magazine publishing industry. He is best known for his appearance as one of the more memorable candidates from 2016's The Apprentice on BBC1.
Dillon was recently diagnosed with a glioma and underwent neurosurgery to have it removed. He wrote a heartfelt and cathartic blog post on his website about his experience which resonated with thousands of our community and went viral.
"I think it's hugely important to raise more awareness of brain tumours and the implications they can have on patients' lives - not just from a scientific medical stance but also from a human one.
“I aim to help to create wider understanding of the effects brain surgery and a diagnosis can have on an individual and their families on a emotive level through my own experience."
"The Brain Tumour Charity is not a big charity but is fighting a massive battle against one of the toughest cancers to defeat. Having lost my mum to this horrible disease, I will always support and admire their great work."
Steve is backing our drive to reduce diagnosis times for paediatric brain tumours
“Brain tumours are still woefully underfunded as is the research into them. It's vital that we get behind the incredibly invaluable work for those who are affected and those who could be in the future."
“Getting involved with the Family Days through The Brain Tumour Charity has been fantastic on so many levels. Lifting the spirits of families going through challenging times, seeing them be able to communicate, offload and share their stories is humbling and the impact is instant.
You see parents relaxed and supported, along with their children being happy and carefree from the mundane routine of daily medical intervention and worry.
We feel proud to attend them and to support The Charity in all its endeavours."
Lewis and his wife, Annie, also run The Lewis Moody Foundation, working closely alongside us to raise funds and awareness.
“I cannot even begin to imagine what families and individuals go through when confronted with such a disease. The Brain Tumour Charity is inspiring change, a reason to believe and they are providing genuine hope that one day soon it won't have to be this way."
Marc was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 1990 aged 18, and helped us launch the Jake animations
“My mantra was 'I am going to get through this and I am going to have an incredible life.' The intention behind Jake is brilliant and I'm sure he'll help The Charity's fantastic work." Marcsilk.com/ @marcsilk
“Over 800 people will be diagnosed with a brain tumour during the Brain Tumour Awareness Month of March and brain tumours are still the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40. This has to change. I am going to #WearItOut with love on 4 March for all those affected by brain tumours and fully support the great work The Brain Tumour Charity does for this important campaign and others in 2016 and beyond."
Alastair worked alongside our documentary filmmakers, providing the voiceover and support for our Everest in the Alps fundraising expedition
“It is an honour to be able to work with such a worthwhile Charity and their continuing efforts to tackle this disease."
“Playing Glen gave me an insight into the devastation of being diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour and the horrific challenges – both physically and emotionally – people face every day. Out of respect to them, I wanted my portrayal to be as accurate and sensitive as possible.
“I have the utmost admiration and respect for people living with a brain tumour who get up every morning, determined to make the most of their day. I'm happy and honoured that playing Glen has helped me to raise awareness about such a cruel disease and this brilliant charity's mission to defeat it.
“The Brain Tumour Charity's expertise and crucial advice enabled me to do justice to Glen's role – I couldn't have done it without them."
Martino was first diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2011 while working on a movie project in Los Angeles and underwent surgery. Six months later he had another operation in Rome.
Devastatingly, the side effects of this surgery and the tumour drastically affected his ability to read. Martino's book, documenting this transformation of his life, has recently been published.
He has thrown his considerable support behind the work we do in terms of raising awareness and understanding of brain tumours and their effects on all those affected.
"Six years ago I woke up in a hospital in Los Angeles where I was told that I had 98% chance of dying within 18 months.
“After a second brain operation I realized that I could no longer read the text that I was typing away instinctively.
“So I embraced my computer and started writing The Finch in My Brain, a book about the various adventures of my family and I, trying everything possible to beat these impossible odds. “Given that this battle with cancer is extremely complex, we all need to attack it simultaneously from all sides, scientifically, psychologically, financially, socially and politically."
Martino's book The Finch in My Brain is published by Hodder & Stoughton
“I became involved with The Brain Tumour Charity a long time ago, when it was known as the Samantha Dickson Research Trust. My association with the latter arose from an invitation from Samantha's parents, Neil and Angela, to be part of the charity established in their late daughter's name: Samantha had died from a brain tumour, aged just 16.
“As the father of several children, I did not hesitate for a second from joining up as one of the charity's patrons: it was the very least I could do, to show solidarity in the face of tragedy.
“Despite their brilliant efforts, and their undoubted successes, brain tumours remain the number one killer of children and adults under 40 in the UK. “My grandmother died of a brain tumour, in 1972, in her seventies. She was the most lovely lady, dedicating her life to helping others, and recognition of that fact is found in the hospice in nearby Northampton being named 'Cynthia Spencer', in her honour.
“While my grandmother lived a full life, others are cut down in their childhood or youth by the same, appalling, disease. In being a patron of The Brain Tumour Charity, I want to show my support for curbing brain tumours' dark powers, and for turning the tide against a force that has claimed too many young lives."
The Neales are a four-piece family band and finalists of Britain's Got Talent 2015. They've given The Charity huge support for fundraising and awareness, attending and promoting the likes of our Joseph Foote Ball and The Lewis Moody Foundation and they're working with us on future 2017/2018 campaigns.
"Having had first-hand experience of the impact a brain tumour can have on a family, we are honoured to support the incredible work the charity does.
“Furthermore, the family values and inspirational attitude demonstrated by so many of the people behind The Brain Tumour Charity makes us proud to continue to help however we can."
The Neales are made up of father Laurie Neale (62), and brothers James Neale (30), Dan Neale (28) and Phil Neale (26).
A long-term supporter of the charity and having survived two brain tumours himself, Russell has thrown his 2018 'Canzoni d'Amore' tour's weight behind our work.
Described by the New York Times as a performer “who sings like Pavarotti and entertains the audience like Sinatra", he subsequently released ten studio albums, each one receiving more critical acclaim than the last.
“Being diagnosed with a brain tumour is devastating for those affected and their loved ones. I'm honoured to support The Brain Tumour Charity; not only do they provide invaluable support for patients and families at the most difficult of times, they actively raise awareness of symptoms to enable quicker diagnosis, and provide essential funding for pioneering research into treatments of this life-threatening illness."
View his website: http://russellwatson.com/
“I have spent more than 25 years studying the biology and treatment of children's brain tumours. Therefore it is both a pleasure and honour to serve one of the world's largest brain tumour charities as together we seek to fund the most excellent brain tumour research. The SAB plays a critical role in the charity and wider research community, ensuring that we identify and select for funding the highest quality research projects that will have the greatest impact for patients."
Dr Watts specialises in the genomics of glioblastoma (GBM) and in the role of glial progenitors in their evolution and development. His team are also interested in developing patient-specific models of GBM to evaluate intra-tumour variability in genomic and clonal architecture.
They have developed FGMS (Fluorescence-Guided Multiple Sampling) as a unique means of interrogating GBM in real time during surgery. This is coupled with integrated genomic analysis to establish high-resolution molecular genetic characterisation of GBM, enable phylogenetic reconstruction and define clonal organisation of tumours at the level of the individual patient.
A consultant at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) since 1993, Dr Michalski leads a multi-disciplinary team committed to delivering the best outcomes and patient centred care.
He is Chair of the National Cancer Research Institute Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Central Nervous System Subgroup, promoting research into childhood brain tumours. Dr Michalski has also published 34 papers in peer reviewed journals and has written book chapters and reviews. He holds national grants for research into childhood brain tumours.
He is also a member of The Brain Tumour Charity's Quality of Life Scientific Advisory Board, the group responsible for the assessment and rating of applications for research funding and makes recommendations to The Charity's Board of Trustees, and is also a supporter of the Lewis Moody Foundation.
Prof. Ashkan is the lead for neuro-oncology and the lead for neuroscience commercial clinical trial unit at King's College Hospital.
He trained at the University of Wales College of Medicine and then completed an intensive general neurosurgical training programme on the South Thames Specialist Registrar rotation, working in several leading units such as King's College, Atkinson Morley's and The National Hospitals. Following this, he spent a year of fellowship in France working with Prof Benabid, acknowledged as the founder of modern functional neurosurgery. Prior to his consultant appointment at King's College Hospital Mr Ashkan was a Senior Lecturer in Functional Neurosurgery and Honorary Consultant Neurosurgeon at the Institute of Neurology and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.
Prof. Ashkan is actively involved in research, especially in developing novel treatments for brain tumours and for Parkinson's disease. He is the deputy lead for neurosciences R&D committee at King's College Hospital and has published over 220 peer review papers, abstracts and book chapters and is a reviewer for several journals and grant awarding bodies. He is actively involved in training both undergraduate and postgraduate clinical and research students and he sits on the Surgical Training Committee for neurosurgical trainees in London and runs the annual neuro-oncology course at the Royal College of Surgeons.
From 2003-7 Sir Colin was Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council. He has been actively involved in the public communication of science for more than 30 years. A frequent broadcaster on radio and television, Colin has published a number of books about science for a general readership, and he writes for the national and international media.
"Assessing the impact of the research we fund is of paramount importance as it highlights our wider influence and the progress that we are making towards better diagnostic techniques and new treatments to improve quality of life and survival rates. We could be at an historic turning point for research into brain tumours and this report evidences advances that are being made across the UK. Much of this research shows promise for further investigation and development, and some of the follow-up research is already underway." - The Research Impact Report 2014
Sir Colin Brian Blakemore is President of The Brain Tumour Charity.
“In my field of brain tumour research, the challenges are particularly tough. I've been working with teams at University College London and The University of Leeds on repurposing a drug called hydroxychloroquine, which is licensed to treat arthritis and malaria. Thanks to promising laboratory tests, we think hydroxychloroquine could help brain tumour patients by making their cancer cells more sensitive to radiotherapy treatment."
“I am delighted to welcome the results of 'Losing my Place: The Reality of Childhood with a Brain Tumour'. In my opinion this is a very important addition to the literature on Central Nervous System Tumours in Children and young people.
As health professionals dealing with patients suffering from brain tumours, our focus is very much on trying to cure our patients and their is a clear risk of losing sight of the effects that a brain tumour has on the everyday lives of patients and their families as they go through the treatment journey and beyond.
“The study is important for patients themselves to appreciate that they are not alone in their problems and may help patients open up to their families and treatment team. In addition, the results of this study should be strongly considered when planning the care of brain tumour sufferers including the provision of optimum support for patients and their families."
"Developments and possible cures will come through research and from the redesign for tumour classification. It's just a matter of money but discoveries, new treatments and one day hopefully cures will be found. Thank you to your organisation for helping make this possible for every neurological department in this country."
“Our research aims to understand the reasons why some adult patients take longer than others to be diagnosed with a brain tumour. The team will propose simple guidelines that will help GPs better identify which patients have a brain tumour and hopefully lead to rapid referral to a specialist. This research could transform the lives of brain tumour patients."
“The way The Brain Tumour Charity funds research is a great example of best practice. The projects are scrutinised thoroughly by independent peer reviewers, which leads to a period of interaction where they suggest ways that the project might be improved. They support innovative research, and this is exactly what the field needs. The Charity is doing a fabulous job of advancing brain tumour research."
“The impact of The Brain Tumour Charity's funding obver the lasrt 18 months has meant that we have already been able to identify a link between the development of tumours and the mechanisms that control the repair of DNA within the cells. This is a big step forward for us.
Over the coming months we aim to identify newer, safer, less toxic therapies specifically targeted so they spare children from existing toxic or ineffective therapies and improve quality of life."
Dr Pollard established his own independent lab in 2010 at the new UCL Cancer Institute, supported by The Brain Tumour Charity (within the Samantha Dickson Brain Cancer Unit).
In 2013 his lab relocated to the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine and he was awarded the prestigious Cancer Research UK Senior Fellowship.
His group is exploiting the latest genome editing technologies that have opened up new opportunities for understanding the biology of glioblastomas (GBM).
Find out more about Dr Pollard's work
Alexander led a Member's Business Debate on Brain Tumour Awareness in Scotland in December 2017. He has engaged with Health Boards in his region to raise awareness of brain tumours, and our HeadSmart campaign
He was inspired by the story of Mark Richardson, the husband of Shona Richardson, our Community Fundraiser. Mark died from a brain tumour in 2016 aged 32.
Inspired by Mark's story and Shona's determination to advocate for change for quality of life for all those affected, Alexander Stewart MSP commended the exceptional fundraising work of the family, friends and colleagues, after they raised over £80,000 for us.
He tabled a motion in the Scottish Parliament, backed by over a third of all MSPs, that led to the 7 December debate.
“After hearing of the experience of my constituent Mark Richardson and understanding the devastating consequences of a late or inaccurate diagnosis, I wanted to use my influence as a member of the Scottish Parliament to further this cause and to support brain tumour patients wherever I can.
“The Brain Tumour Charity is at the forefront of the fight against brain tumours, and I'd encourage all MSPs to consider taking part in this debate and to support our goal of improving outcomes for patients across the whole of Scotland."
Find out more about the debate and how you can help here
“When I asked my son which charity he would like me to fundraise for in my year as Mayor, he said, without hesitation, The Brain Tumour Charity.
We will be fundraising this year in memory of his brother Mewen, who died of a brain tumour aged 3 and a half.
As a supporter I have visited research labs and spoken to researchers whose work is being funded by charitable funds. Funding medical research and supporting patients and their families is vital work; I am pleased to name The Brain Tumour Charity as my official charity this year."
"For personal reasons the Brain Tumour Charity was always going to be one of my chosen charities during my Mayoral Year. It is my aim to make all schools and parents within the Warwick area aware of the possible symptoms of a brain tumour. If only one life is saved it will have been worth it."
"I'm proud to be inspired by the testimony of The Brain Tumour Charity's Young Ambassadors. Their strategy and advocacy on behalf of brain tumour patients in the UK is a powerful message."
“I'm supporting The Charity because it is very close to my heart, and I want to help raise as much money and awareness as possible. I lost my mother-in-law and best friend to a brain tumour so know first-hand that a cure can't wait. I was keen to support charities where I know the money will make the greatest difference."
Diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2011
Since his diagnosis of a brain tumour in 2011, he has passionately advocated for increased levels of funding for vital research, most recently at the Petitions Committee debate after the publication of its report: Funding for research into brain tumours.
"A brain tumour diagnosis shatters your world. It changes everything instantly and has profound implications for you, your family, your friends. What's shocking is that 29 people each day will receive this diagnosis and yet funds for research into brain tumours lose out in comparison to other cancer research funding."
“We need to campaign as a community to raise awareness of symptoms, to foster support for everyone affected and vitally, to work collectively rather than as individual hospitals, charities and specialists to drive the call for a different allocation of the research funds.
“The Brain Tumour Charity are at the forefront of this, committed to improving life for everyone affected by this devastating disease."
“I know that this money will help fund research, which will perhaps help to diagnose and save someone else's life in the future.
“Our total for the year is over £12,000. It's a great achievement and my thanks go to all my generous donors and supportive fund raisers.
“My son in law Phil Garner was diagnosed with a brain tumour seven years ago and died within two months of diagnosis at the John Radcliffe Hospital.
“I know Phil would have been very proud of our efforts."
“Over the next five years, more than 46,000 people in the UK will be diagnosed with a brain tumour and it's increasingly clear that much more funding into research is required. I fully support the work being done by The Brain Tumour Charity."
“The work of The Brain Tumour Charity will go a long way to improve survival rates, such as through identifying the genes related to the disease and improving diagnosis. I pay tribute to all involved and would encourage people to support this important cause."
Rob, whose son Toby has a brain tumour, organised and led the famous Everest In The Alps expedition in 2015 raising over £3 million towards research into low grade paediatric brain tumours.
“As a parent when you face this kind of situation, of having a young child diagnosed with cancer, you feel totally powerless and your world feels like it has spun out of control. Immediately one thinks of all the things you would be prepared to do. Give your body for his, walk to the ends of the earth, climb the highest mountain (and scream to the skies), but none of that works. It can't be done or makes no sense. It won't help.
“But then on reflection maybe you can do something, maybe you should climb a mountain – climb Everest or your Everest.
“Everest in the Alps took place in March 2015 in the Swiss resort of Verbier and has raised over £3 million for the Everest Innovation Fund to date. In collaboration with The Brain Tumour Charity, this Fund is seeking a team to achieve something new and climb an Everest for brain tumour research: to initiate an ongoing innovative centre for research into low grade paediatric brain tumours like those that Toby and thousands of other children are diagnosed with."
Jack has been a vital supporter of The Charity, having a personal experience of the devastating effects a brain tumour diagnosis can have. His tireless efforts in raising vital funds for us and his powerful advocacy voice enable our strategy to reach the wider audience.
Business leader and philanthropist Jack Morris CBE, lost his daughter Emily in January 2017, aged just 31. “Emily's glioblastoma brain tumour diagnosis was a devastating time in our lives and we were introduced to a world that was completely alien to us.
“Like many other parents in a similar situation, I spent a long time studying the subject that I needed to know about.
“That is why The Brain Tumour Charity's research funding towards the WINDOW Consortium will be so important, in working to help all those going through similar devastating experiences.
“We know that brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and people under 40 in the UK and survival rates have not improved significantly over the last 40 years.
“This has to change and the Charity's partnership with the WINDOW consortium is part of their strategy to make this happen."
“It took some nine months before my young wife, Alison's symptoms were diagnosed to a malignant brain tumour in 1979, and I find to my surprise that this experience for adults has not changed after almost 40 years.
An eminent brain surgeon at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery has told me that early diagnosis is the most important factor for patient survival and life quality after surgery. The surgical treatment at least has improved, Alison's tumour grew back soon after the radiotherapy that followed her surgery and her quality of life for the next five years was very poor.
As you may imagine, after five years helping her cope with life after her operation and radiotherapy, beating this illness is close to my heart. Alison's courage, fortitude, humanity and concern for others during her illness was an inspiration to all who met her, but I frequently felt helpless in the face of this disease.
The Brain Tumour Charity has achieved a great success with its HeadSmart Campaign for children and offers a real opportunity to fight back and make a difference. We can all play our part."