Now, five years later we’ve been looking back over many wonderful highlights, tough decisions, painful disappointments and hard-won victories that have shaped our progress.
Since 2015, we’ve enabled people to get the support, treatment and care they need, invested £38 million into high quality research (attracting an additional £89 million from others) and launched pioneering projects that will remove barriers to future progress.
It’s profoundly humbling to remember that the only reason any of this was possible is thanks to the relentless passion and unwavering loyalty of our community.
When someone leaves a gift in their Will to The Brain Tumour Charity they know that their money will not be used to make a difference in their lifetime, but it may help others.
Their gift is something quiet and thoughtful. It’s not a skydive, or a marathon - it’s a wish. A wish that so many of us make every day; for someone, somewhere to make a breakthrough; to be told there are kinder treatment options available; to find a cure. They believe that we are the best way of guaranteeing that hopeful future.
We rely wholly on voluntary donations, including gift in Wills. Big or small these gifts make a huge contribution towards our work.
Here are just a few achievements these gifts have helped towards over the past five years:
- Our investment into research has generated new knowledge into brain tumours resulting in 294 new research papers, tools and databases.
- Childhood diagnosis times have halved to 6.5 weeks with the help of HeadSmart.
- We’ve seen the roll-out of 5-ALA, a surgical aid which enables surgeons to remove more of the tumour while protecting healthy tissue.
- We’ve helped people feel more in control through our Information and Support services.
- Launched our trusted online app, BRIAN - which not only provides support to those living with a brain tumour, but has the potential to revolutionise the research landscape.
- Our Benefits Clinic has helped our community access £1.8million in financial support since it launched.
But we’ve still got a long way to go.
Our ambitious goals remain as urgent as they were five years ago. Research can be frustratingly slow, and much of our impact in the last five years has been in building strong foundations for accelerating progress.
But just as today’s scientists are making progress thanks to the discoveries of previous generations, a gift left to us today could one day play its part in the breakthroughs of the future.
We all have our own reasons for wanting to fundraise but I think most people want to do something now, tomorrow or next week. I was the same, but since visiting a lab and seeing the time, money and resources that go into just the smallest breakthrough, it’s inspired me to think ahead.
To everyone who left a gift in their Will all those years ago, and who is not around to see what you’ve made possible - thank you, we’re privileged to build on the foundations you’ve helped to lay. You’ve invested part of yourself into our mission and, looking forward, we will push even harder to make our ambitions a reality.
And to those still wishing to make a difference - please consider making this promise; that the most significant document you will ever sign will contain a lasting pledge of support for all those affected by a brain tumour. Even a small gift can play a big part in beating this disease.