MSPs to debate need for greater awareness of brain tumours in Scottish Parliament

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Inspired by our Community Fundraiser Shona Richardson's personal story, Alexander Stewart MSP has tabled a debate in the Scottish Parliament on 7 December

The debate, which we will be part of, is to be held in the Scottish Parliament and will highlight the need for greater awareness of brain tumours and their devastating effects.

The debate will take place in the afternoon at Holyrood and will be led by Alexander Stewart MSP, who tabled the motion to highlight the severe challenges faced by many brain tumour patients.

The motion was supported by 50 MSPs in total and notes that brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40.

The motion describes the experience of Mark Richardson from Dunfermline who died suddenly of an undiagnosed brain tumour in May 2016, aged just 32.

Listening to Shona and her family's story inspired Alexander to take action to raise awareness of this disease.

He is uniting with us to highlight the equally devastating impact brain tumours have had on the lives of Shona and her young family and over 11,000 people diagnosed each and every year.

Mark's wife Shona, who works as a Community Fundraiser for The Charity said: “Mark's sudden death was a complete shock to all of us and looking back, I initially thought Mark didn't show any symptoms. He suffered from a stiff neck, tiredness and a bleed in his left eye prior to his death.

“Had I known that these symptoms combined could have been a brain tumour, we may have been able to identify this before we lost him.

“It has only been through my involvement with The Charity that I have become more aware of how common and serious this illness is.

“This debate is a real opportunity for politicians to make a difference. I am really touched that Alexander has taken Mark's experience and turned this into something really positive."

After hearing of Mark's devastating story, Alexander Stewart MSP commended the exceptional fundraising work of Mark's family, friends and colleagues, after they raised over £80,000 for The Charity.

Having met with representatives of the Charity in September, Alexander Stewart MSP said: “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."

The motion also notes that; “national campaigns are a basis on which to develop further awareness" and praises the achievements of the HeadSmart early diagnosis campaign, which has contributed to a reduction in average diagnosis times for childhood brain tumours from 9.1 to 6.5 weeks.

You can help with the debate. Find out how