Milton Keynes goes hatty for Wear a Hat Day

Elsie decorates her hat
Elsie decorates her hat

Wear A Hat Day in Milton Keynes looks set to be hat-tastic as people across the region get out their favourite or wackiest headgear ready for the event on Friday (March 31).

Organisations across the city, ranging from Argos, the neuro-rehabilitation service at Bletchley’s Community Hospital and Network Rail to 360 Play and Hobbycraft are all helping to raise awareness for the national charity Brain Tumour Research, based in Shenley Wood.

The charity has enjoyed incredible help from supporters within the local community, as well as students from Milton Keynes Academy, who have volunteered in the weeks and months leading up to Wear A Hat Day, to make up boxes for their merchandise fulfilment, including hat badges.

Brain Tumour Research is also grateful to New Era Cap Company Ltd, who have a hat shop in Milton Keynes, for supporting Wear A Hat Day and donating a number of baseball caps.

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.

Kate Pyner of Newport Pagnell knows only too well the earth-shattering impact that the diagnosis of a loved one with a brain tumour can bring. Her little daughter Elsie was just two and a half in March 2015 when she was diagnosed with a brain tumour. She underwent 12 hours of surgery to try and remove the tumour, which had to be stopped abruptly when Elsie’s brain started haemorrhaging.

Kate said: “It felt like a terrible nightmare when we were told to prepare for the fact that Elsie might not even survive the night following her operation. Then I realised that it was actually gruesome reality. For four days, Elsie was hanging onto life, on a respirator because she was unable to breathe on her own. Meanwhile doctors were telling us that she might never be able to breathe again on her own without a tracheotomy and a respirator, let alone walk or talk again.

“Flash forward two years and Elsie, who thankfully made a miraculous recovery from her first operation, has also undergone intensive chemotherapy, as well as further surgery. She is now a happy four-year-old, walking, talking and enjoying playing with her big sister Lily, eight, and attending pre-school at Newport Pagnell Youth Club.

“We still hold our breath though every time we go for the results of her three-monthly MRI scans, waiting for the consultant to confirm there is no sign of regrowth.

“Elsie is one of the lucky ones. Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years, compared with a 50% average for all cancers – so please wear a hat next Friday, encourage your workmates, friends and family to do the same and make a donation to Brain Tumour Research. It’s so easy to do.”

Wear A Hat Day, now celebrating eight years, promises to be be bigger, bolder and hattier than ever before with new celebrity ambassadors backing the campaign, including Debbie McGee who lost her husband Paul Daniels to a brain tumour a year ago this month. Also supporting the event are Ed Balls, Sheila Hancock CBE, Linda Robson, Sarah Beeny and Dr Dawn Harper.

Wear A Hat Day was launched by the charity Brain Tumour Research in 2010 and is the culmination of Brain Tumour Awareness Month. The big day will see schools, workplaces, families and individuals across the region fundraising and taking part in fun events to raise awareness of brain tumours and help fund life-saving research.

Funds raised through Wear A Hat Day 2017 will develop the charity’s network of world-class brain tumour research centres in the UK.

To get involved, or donate visit www.wearahatday.org
Or text HAT to 70660 to donate £5*