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Amazing in-memory fundraising by the Christian White Memorial Fund

Christian’s family and friends have been tireless in their efforts to raise money for glioblastoma research in his memory

A banner showing in memory fundraising by The Christian White Memorial Fund

“Christian was first and foremost loving and caring, and every fundraising effort for the Memorial Fund is an act of love to him. He would be really pleased to think that we were able to channel energy towards work that could eventually beat this dreadful disease.”

Jonathan White, Christian’s father

We’ve been blown away by the incredible determination of the The Christian White Memorial Fund. This in-memory fundraising venture was started to raise money for research into glioblastoma brain tumours. And, it’s done incredible things over the past six months.

The White family set up their Supporter Group with us in June 2022. This was after losing their son, Christian, to a glioblastoma aged just seventeen. Since then, they’ve run, rowed and held a charity auction to help accelerate a cure. Along the way, they’ve raised an amazing £65,000 to date, with many more events planned!

Christian’s story

Christian was a gentle, kind and loyal young man. He was devoted to his family, friends and pets, including his beloved Cavapoo, Bella. He was an avidly curious scientist and did brilliantly in the classroom when he could attend school. As a young boy he was a promising long-distance runner, and he loved athletics and team sports, especially rugby and cricket. At 12, Christian contracted the debilitating chronic fatigue condition M.E., so could only rarely attend secondary school and had to give up sport.

Christian White and friends at their school

“Christian was so brave when he received the glioblastoma diagnosis … He made the decision to live each day as well as he could. We think that a lot of his graciousness came from five years of having to learn to live with M.E. …

“Out of this invisible and invasive illness he developed his own philosophy of life, as well as the patience required to live in dignity despite the physical suffering. In his wisdom he learned to distinguish between what was really valuable, and what he could let go of.”

Jonathan White

Christian began to experience the symptoms of a brain tumour very suddenly. He had balance and speech issues, his facial muscles were affected, he had mobility issues on the right side of his body and lost peripheral vision in his left eye. After a biopsy at Great Ormond Street Hospital, he received a diagnosis of glioblastoma multiforme. Following that, he began a six-week round of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

“We were aware that this treatment might only buy Christian some more time, and we were able to share a number of wonderful experiences with him – we went to the Alps and we hired a beautiful place by the sea at Camber Sands with friends and family.

Jonathan White

The family were able to keep Christian at home for his end-of-life care. This was thanks to the staff of Shooting Stars Hospice and carers from Angela Hamlyn.

In-memory fundraising for a cure

The in-memory fundraising started in June 2022. The White family and friends raised over £12,000 for The Charity at Christian’s funeral. Since then, the Fund has been tireless in their efforts to accelerate progress in brain tumour research. September saw Christian’s father, Jonathan, his godfather, Mark, and Jonathan’s godson, Freddie, run the Ealing Half-Marathon for us. This was just two days after what would have been Christian’s eighteenth birthday. They raised a fantastic £9,000!

“Christian was a fine long-distance runner, but when he was struck down with M.E. he was unable to do much, if any. He always said that he would run a marathon after his eighteenth birthday with me, to celebrate his recovery.

“That was not to be, so we did it in memory of his bravery, and to raise more money for a cure for glioblastoma. His other godfather doesn’t fancy the running so is being sponsored to lose weight instead!”

Jonathan White
Johnathan, Mark and Freddie at the Ealing Half Marathon doing in memory fundraising for the Christian White Memorial Fund

Keeping up the in-memory fundraising momentum, the Fund – and Christian’s school, Latymer Upper School – then organised a charity auction dinner in October. This featured a live band, raffle and sit-down meal with a live auction. Our Founders, Neil and Angela Dickson, attended and spoke about The Charity’s work. The event was a great success, with over £45,000 being raised to help drive forward research and make a difference to the lives of those affected by glioblastoma.

If that wasn’t enough, later in October, Jaime Chueca, a schoolmate of Christian’s, organised an indoor rowing fundraiser, recruiting as many rowers as possible to row a combined distance of 500km – with their brilliant efforts livestreamed. Over £5,190 was raised for the Fund! Christian’s friend will also be holding a charity bake sale on Saturday 10 December 2022 at Upper Latymer School’s Christmas Fair.

Firzana Khan, The Brain Tumour Charity’s Community Fundraiser for London and Central England, said:

“We’re touched by the incredible hard work of Christian’s family over the last six months to raise vital funds and shine a light on brain tumours – and thank them sincerely for their inspiration and support.

“Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of the under 40s, and unlike other cancers, survival rates have improved little over the last 40 years.

“It’s through the efforts of families like Christian’s that we can change these shocking statistics in the future and bring hope to thousands of people who are diagnosed with a brain tumour every year.”

Firzana Khan

Honouring Christian’s memory

We’re so grateful to The Christian White Memorial Fund for choosing our research programme to fundraise for. We are in awe of all their achievements so far. But we know they’re not done yet. The Fund plan to continue raising money and at the same time honouring Christian’s memory. Thank you – we can’t wait to see what’s to come!

“I think we are moved by two facts. One, The Brain Tumour Charity directs money to research into this terrible disease, and so we are delighted to help researchers along the long road which we are sure will eventually lead to a cure. …

“Second, it is a way of memorializing our son. Christian was first and foremost loving and caring, and every fundraising effort for the Memorial Fund is an act of love to him.”

Jonathan White

You can keep up to date on the Fund’s activities via their website, here.