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12 ways you’ve given the gift of time in 2023

Come with us as we look back at some of the ways you, the brain tumour community, has given the gift of time in 2023.

The gift of time. Give the greatest gift message

As we race towards the festive season, we’ve been looking back on some of the ways that the brain tumour community has gone above and beyond in 2023. From spreading awareness and raising funds to supporting and uplifting each other during the tough times, we’re in awe of what you’ve achieved this year.

We’re moving further and faster than ever as we accelerate towards a world where families affected by a brain tumour have the greatest gift of all – more time to make memories together.

And it’s all because of you!

1. Sharing your story

Sharing your story is a powerful thing. It can help other people affected by a brain tumour feel like they aren’t alone and it can help us raise awareness of the urgent need to accelerate a cure. In 2023, many of you bravely shared stories like Kate’s.

Kate began experiencing symptoms in 2016 but was continually dismissed by doctors as she was a “fit and healthy 35-year-old woman”.

During Christmas of that year, Kate collapsed at her parents home. Her brother rushed her to A&E where a CT-scan revealed that she had a brain tumour. She immediately underwent emergency neurosurgery to removed most of the tumour. Thankfully, Kate was able to return home on Christmas Eve to spend the holidays with her son.

Since her surgery, Kate has done so much to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of brain tumours and improve the lives of others like her. She’s even changed careers and is now a neuro critical care nurse working on the same ward she was once admitted to. And she’s also raised vital funds for The Charity by completing challenges like the Sahara Trek and the Great North Run.

From bravely sharing her story to achieving incredible physical and mental milestones, Kate’s both given and received the gift of time since being diagnosed.

2. Fighting for Faster Diagnosis

In 2023 we launched our Fighting for Faster Diagnosis report and marched to Parliament to engage with policymakers in Government.

Our Improving Brain Tumour Care surveys revealed that around 1 in 7 people have to wait more than six months to get a diagnosis after first seeing a healthcare professional about their symptoms – with 1 in 10 (10%) waiting over a year to be diagnosed.

Waiting so long can change what treatment is available to people and sometimes means patients have less of a say in the treatment they receive.

Speeding up diagnosis times is crucial for people diagnosed with a brain tumour and their loved ones. That’s why we asked you to help us call on Government and the NHS to implement the eight changes outlined in the report.

3. Going the extra mile in the London Marathon

In April we had our biggest team of runners ever taking to the streets of London to raise funds and help people with brain tumours live longer and better lives. 141 of you tied up your laces, put in months of training and took your fundraising to new levels. All to support world-class research, life-changing support services and advancements in policy to benefit people affected by brain tumours.

This year, runners like Dave, who was diagnosed with a glioblastoma in 2021, raised over £520,000 to help give the gift of time to families affected by a brain tumour diagnosis.

By running for The Brain Tumour Charity, I’m playing my part in the Charity’s movement to defeat brain tumours sooner – by moving faster and further to find a cure. While I still can, I want to do my bit to support the research and campaigning work of The Brain Tumour Charity.”

Dave, 2023 London Marathon runner

4. Helping make Ravi’s Dream come true

After being diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2021, eight year old Ravi decided that he wanted to raise important funds and awareness, to support other children like him who have been diagnosed with a brain tumour. He kicked off this monumental challenge with a star-studded charity single of A Million Dreams. Ravi and his family were joined by stars such as Bastille, Paloma Faith, High Jackman and even Merry Berry!

But his efforts didn’t stop there. Throughout 2023 Ravi has continued his passion holding numerous events and appearing on radio and TV across the country. In January he visited The House of Commons to launch his dream week campaign, where he met MP’s and schools to share his dream of a future where childhood treatments into brain tumours are kinder and have less life-altering side effects.

In June Ravi held a charity football match at Worthing FC, hosting an Under 8’s tournament and a mixed-gender adult match so everyone could get involved! Bringing together so many friends, family and supporters from across the brain tumour community, the day truly was a special way to make memories and raise important funds that will help others affected by a brain tumour diagnosis to do the same.

Fast forward to November and Ravi came together with friends for another unforgettable night, a charity fashion show! The catwalk laid tracks for 20 models all like Ravi, children living with a brain tumour diagnosis. Not only did this special night raise awareness and funds to support others affected by a brain tumour diagnosis, it also brought together so many from across the brain tumour community for an evening of cherished and unforgettable memories.

5. Funding cutting-edge research at The Everest Centre

Researchers at The Everest Center are working hard to transform treatments for children with low-grade brain tumours. In 2023, thanks to the support of the brain tumour community, we were excited to announce a further £5 million funding for the next five years of their research.

With the aim to further understand, diagnose and improve treatments for children with these brain tumours, work at The Everest Center is just one example of the ways your donations help to fund essential research to give the gift of time to those affected by brain tumours.

6. Launching The Be More Laura Foundation

In May, everyone at The Brain Tumour Charity, along with so many people in the community and many more who haven’t been personally affected by a brain tumour, mourned the tragic passing of Laura Nuttall.

Laura was part of our 2019 cohort of Young Ambassadors and was a fierce advocate for the brain tumour community. Alongside her dad (Mark), mum (Nicola) and sister (Gracie), Laura was committed to improving the lives of everyone affected by a diagnosis.

Following Laura’s death, her family set up the Be More Laura Foundation. The Foundation is a charity that’ll honour Laura’s life and legacy by working towards a number of her passions – including research into brain tumours.

This September, we were delighted to be among the first recipients of The Foundation’s generosity with the announcement that to announce that The Foundation will be part-funding the ARISTOCRAT clinical trial. This trial wil test the effectiveness of a cannabinoid-based therapy for patients with a recurrent glioblastoma.

7. Kicking our partnership with Wickes off with a bang!

Earlier this year, we were absolutely delighted to announce that we were Wickes’ new charity partner. Since the partnership kicked off with a bang in April, the incredible team across more than 230 Wickes store in the UK have given the gift of time. Not only have they raised awareness of our Better Safe Than Tumour campaign but they’ve raised an amazing £620K already this year!

We’re so excited to be looking forward to 2024 and all the ways we can continue to move further, faster towards a world where every family affected by a brain tumours receives the greatest gift – more time together.

8. Celebrating our Young Ambassadors

2023 marks the end of our current cohort’s time as Young Ambassadors – although we know it won’t be the end of their time with The Charity!

So, we couldn’t help but reflect on some of the amazing things they have achieved in the last two years, whether it was sharing their stories online and even in Parliament; raising awareness of brain tumours and organising incredible fundraising events in their community; or by joining the Less Survivable Cancer Taskforce to advocate for improved diagnosis, treatment and care.

All of their incredible work will help to give others affected by brain tumours the greatest gift: more time to create special memories with their loved ones.

9. Listening to our podcast

Run by volunteers Andy, Chandos and Anna, Let’s Talk About Brain Tumours is a great way to learn more about brain tumours, The Charity, and the wider brain tumour community.

With over 50 episodes and counting, the fortnightly podcast covers a range of topics, including tips on how to cope with side-effects, deep dives into Charity campaigns, thought-provoking chats with the community and even interviews with the team here at The Brain Tumour Charity.

Most importantly, it’s helped to give the gift of time this year by opening up conversations in the brain tumour community and creating a safe space for people to share their opinions and support one another.

10. Volunteering your time and skills!

We’re so lucky to have so many amazing volunteers who use their time, skills and expertise to help us give the gift of time.

So it was no surprise when one of our dedicated volunteers was nominated at the Third Sector Awards 2023.

Andy has given the gift of time to the brain tumour community in so many ways, from co-hosting our Let’s Talk About Brain Tumours podcast to co-creating our Living Longer and Better strategy.

It’s no wonder Andy was named Volunteer of the Year at our Celebrating You Awards as well as being highly commended for Volunteer of the Year at the Third Sector Awards in 2023!

Andy Tudor podcast host in a charity t-shirt. Andy gives the gift of time - his time - by making podcasts for us

11. Voting for Harry at the JustGiving Awards

This year, Harry went above and beyond to give the gift of time to other families affected by a brain tumour diagnosis. In the summer of 2022, Harry and his family went through something no one should have to face. His younger sister Emily was unexpectedly diagnosed with a midline glioma and passed away just 11 days later. She was eight years old.

Heartbroken by the death of his sister, Harry is determined to make changes for others like him, so they don’t have to experience what his family did. This April, Harry set out to complete as many challenges as possible, all in Emily’s name, from climbing Scafell Pike to cycling from Addenbrooke’s Hospital to his home – a journey his sister was never able to make.

In recognition of his incredible efforts, Harry was nominated for Young Fundraiser of the Year at the JustGiving awards in September. Despite facing stiff competition from the other amazing nominees, Harry took home the prize and dedicated it to Emily. So, we wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who answered our call and voted for Harry.

12. Helping us fund the Future Leaders of research

graphic showing scientists working at desks for The Brain Tumour Charity Future Leaders programme

In 2023 we awarded grants to a new cohort of Future Leaders. These young researchers are exploring new ideas and technologies that we hope will improve the lives of people diagnosed with a brain tumour. Their dedication to finding new treatments for brain tumours and improving our understanding of these complex diseases is truly inspiring. But we simply couldn’t fund this research without your support!

Feeling inspired? Why not give the gift of time today?

Feeling inspired by all the incredible things the brain tumour community have done to give the gift of time in 2023? Don’t worry, you can still get involved before the year is done! Your donation, no matter the size, will help give families affected by a brain tumour the greatest gift they could ever receive – more time to make cherished memories together.