Pioneering national charity, Brain Tumour Research, held a first anniversary Open Day at its offices in Shenley Pavilions, Shenley Wood, last Friday, welcoming supporters, brain tumour patients, business leaders and local dignitaries.
Guests were given the opportunity to meet the charity’s dedicated team of employees and volunteers and listen to a number of presentations which included chief executive, Sue Farrington Smith, and head of research, Dr Kieran Breen, who spoke via Skype from a conference in Arizona.
Sue explained what a momentous period the last year has been for the charity: “Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.
“We are proud to be helping to make a difference and are able to announce that this month our fundraising total since inception topped £10 million due to amazing commitment from all of our supporters across the UK,” she said.
“We have only been able to attain this incredible figure because of our thousands of inspirational fundraisers who do everything from jumping out of planes and running marathons to holding coffee mornings and bake sales.
“The financial burden of funding research has fallen heavily on the third sector. We identified that in 2015 the Government spend on brain tumour research represented just 0.52% of its total spend on cancer research.
“Earlier this year, in February, an e-petition launched by the family of Stephen Realf, lost to a brain tumour at the age of 26, and championed by Brain Tumour Research, achieved enough signatures to spark a debate at Westminster. This was followed in April by a formal acknowledgement from the Government that more must be done for brain tumour patients and their families.
“In June, the charity published its new National Research Funding Report, aimed at addressing the historical underfunding of research into brain tumours and the devastating consequences of limited treatment options for patients and their families.”
“A Task and Finish working group, comprising charities, parliamentarians, researchers and clinicians at the Department of Health has been set up and Brain Tumour Research will be challenging the Government and larger cancer charities to bring research funding into brain tumours in line with other cancers, such as breast and leukaemia.
“For too long, brain tumours have been a neglected cancer,” Sue said.
Brain Tumour Research is campaigning to see the national spend on brain tumour research increased to £30 - £35 million a year, in line with breast and leukaemia, in order to advance treatments, and ultimately find a cure.
If you would like to make a donation please go to www.justgiving.com/braintr