Blog: Brain Tumour Research in the headlines

5 min read

April saw the launch of a brand-new challenge and hundreds of you signed up for 200k in May Your Way. The challenge officially got underway this week and among those who will be adding up their kilometres throughout May is Denise Wingfield.

Denise was diagnosed with a grade 2 oligodendroglioma in 2019 and is now aiming to walk 200km throughout May to raise vital funds and awareness to help find a cure for the disease. Ahead of her challenge, she shared how her diagnosis came about after hearing a dull whirring sound in her right ear. Her story was on MailOnline and LADBible.

Denise Wingfield ready for the 200k in May Your Way challenge

Denise ready for the challenge

Denise said: “I had no idea that one in three people knows someone affected by a brain tumour and yet the funding into research doesn’t reflect this.

“Supporting a charity that focuses on campaigning and advocates for people living with a brain tumour like me and future patients is vital.”

Also planning to tot up her 200km by walking is Clare Rapley. Her story was in the Daily Express and Mirror after she shared how it took decades for her brain tumour to be diagnosed.

It was 26 years after Clare’s symptoms started, when she was just nine, that the mother-of-three was told hearing loss in her right ear was caused by an acoustic neuroma. As a result of a 17-hour operation to remove the tumour, Clare was left with life-changing injuries including impaired vision, facial paralysis and epilepsy. Now, she and her pooch, Percy, are putting their daily dog walks to good use.

“I’m out with Percy all the time. We cover about five miles each day so I’m confident I can complete this challenge. It means a lot to be able to share my story. I don’t want other people to suffer. We must invest in research into brain tumours if we are to find less invasive treatments and ultimately a cure to save future generations,” Clare said.

Brain tumour patient Clare Rapley and her dog Percy

Clare and Percy

Good luck to everyone taking part in our 200k in May Your Way challenge – we know you’ll smash it! And if you’ve not yet joined the team but would like to take part, there’s still time to sign up. Find out more here.

Your creative fundraising ideas are always so inspiring and in April we heard about everything from Heidi Clevett’s ambitious five-day, 60-mile canoe challenge (read more on the BBC website) to the Brickmakers pub’s charity music gig in the Norwich Evening News. The Northern Echo reported on Charlotte West’s sky-high fundraising in memory of her uncle, Stuart, despite her “crippling fear of heights”.

Coverage of your DIY fundraising challenges


Next month, a group will take on an epic 280-mile cycle inspired by parents Steve Morrissey and Ali Slaymaker, who died from brain tumours just weeks apart, leaving their only daughter Mia. Thousands read about the challenge, which has already raised nearly £5,000, in MailOnline and Plymouth Herald.

Speaking about the challenge, Steve’s nephew, Ben, said: “Watching how brain tumours rip families into pieces has made me realise we need to help make a change and I am attempting to do that by doing something positive.”

Steve Morrissey and Ali Slaymaker both died of brain tumours

The challenge will see the team cycle 70 miles a day for four days in memory of Steve and Ali

And of course, April saw the return of the TCS London Marathon and a team of 80 runners took to the streets of England’s capital to raise funds for Brain Tumour Research.

If you were in the crowds, you may have spotted Jess Walklin who completed the course in 5 hours 14 minutes while wearing an impressive (and heavy!) brain costume. If you didn’t spot him, you can read more about his story on the BBC website.

Jess Walklin running the London Marathon in a giant brain costume

Jess running his marathon

Amy Owen was running, inspired by her son Roux, who was just four weeks old when he was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour. Speaking to ITV Yorkshire about her challenge, she said: “We’ve been through a pretty rough four years but doing the charity work has given us a bit of positivity out of such an awful situation. We’ve met so many lovely people and families in similar situations and if we can give something back that, in turn, might help another family that lands in a similar situation in the future, then we feel like it's worth doing what we're doing.”

The youngest runner in our team was 18-year-old Rafe Colman-Chadwick. He ran in memory of his dad, Damian, who died from a glioblastoma (GBM) five years ago. Ahead of the big day, Rafe received some words of encouragement from Harry Potter star, Miriam Margolyes in a special video she recorded for him.

Rafe Colman-Chadwick after his London Marathon

Rafe post-race

In her video, Miriam said: “Rafe is doing a marathon for Brain Tumour Research. His dad died because he had a brain tumour. We need to do research into that area of cancer. Please support Rafe, he’s running and he’s doing it for his dad. Please open your purses and your hearts. Thank you.”

Read more in the Yorkshire Evening Post’s article about Rafe’s marathon efforts.

Well done to all the amazing runners who took on the London Marathon for Brain Tumour Research. You are so inspiring!

Runners taking part in the London Marathon for Brain Tumour Research

Just a few of our amazing London Marathon runners

To round off the month, we were approached by Sky News and ITV Anglia to comment on the recent news that a new targeted treatment for children with glioma has been approved for use on the NHS.

Our spokesman, Hugh Adams, shared why this is such a significant step forward. He said: “The results of this trial and what we know so far have been hugely encouraging. It’s a small cohort of patients but stories like this fill us with hope and fill us with a drive to make sure we do further research to get more treatments coming through from the scientist’s bench to the patient’s bedside in an area where we haven’t done as well as other forms of cancer.”

Brain Tumour Research spokesman Hugh Adams on ITV Anglia

Hugh was interviewed on ITV Anglia

We are grateful to all the supporters who work with Brain Tumour Research to help raise awareness of this devastating disease. If you would like to share your story, please contact our dedicated PR team to see how we may be able to help:

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