Wife lost to brain tumour is remembered at research centre

2 min read

The family of a lady who lost her life to a brain tumour are helping to fund scientific research into finding a cure for the disease.

Derek Maughan, 80, from Plymouth, chose to raise funds for research into brain tumours after he lost his wife Helen to a glioblastoma, a very aggressive brain tumour, in March this year.  Through fundraising and donations, Helen’s family and friends raised over £3,600 for the pioneering charity Brain Tumour Research.

Helen’s children Julian and Sarah joined Derek to place a tile on the Wall of Hope at the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence at Pus Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry.  The centre, which is one of four, is focused on research to improve treatments for patients with brain tumours and, ultimately, finding a cure. Each tile laid on the wall represents the £2,740 it costs to fund a day of research.

Helen was 77 when she was diagnosed with the tumour in September 2015. Doctors tried to control it through surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, though sadly she was given the prognosis that she could live for as little as 12 months. Helen battled the disease for as long as she could however when she passed away it was in a nursing home with Derek by her side on what was his birthday, together with Julian and Sarah.

Derek said: “Helen was a very outgoing and sociable person and had enjoyed her early career as a singer, dancer and model. She had a wonderful singing voice and it always made me smile to watch her perform. Though we met later in life, I’m thankful that we got to spend over 33 years together. I just hope that the research carried out now can help future generations affected by this devastating disease.”

Carol Robertson, Community Fundraising Manager (South) for Brain Tumour Research, said: “We are really grateful to Derek and his family for raising vital funds to support important research into a disease which affects so many people and their families each year.

“Sadly, brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone, at any age, at any time. For too long, brain tumours have been a neglected cancer. Stories like Helen’s remind us all that we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue.”

To make a donation to Brain Tumour Research go to https://www.braintumourresearch.org/donation


For further information, please contact:
Lexie Jenkins at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 867222 or 07591 206545 or Lexie.Jenkins@braintumourresearch.org


Notes to Editors

Brain Tumour Research is the only national charity in the UK focused on funding sustainable research to find a cure for brain tumours. We are building a game-changing network of world-class Research Centres of Excellence in the UK. Embracing passionate member charities nationwide, £5.5 million was raised towards research and support during 2016.

We are campaigning to see the national spend on research into brain tumours increased to £30 - £35 million a year, in line with breast cancer and leukaemia. The charity is celebrating a year of high-profile campaigning on this issue following the unprecedented success of its petition in 2016. Following that, Brain Tumour Research is now taking a leading role in the Government’s Task and Finish Working Group convened to tackle the historic underfunding for research.

Key statistics on brain tumours:

  • Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer
  • They kill more children than leukaemia
  • They kill more men under 45 than prostate cancer
  • They kill more women under 35 than breast cancer
  • Just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease
  • In the UK 16,000 people each year are diagnosed with a brain tumour
  • Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers
  • Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone, at any age
  • Incidences of, and deaths from, brain tumours are increasing.

Please quote Brain Tumour Research as the source when using this information. Additional facts and statistics are available from our website including our latest Report on National Research Funding. We can also provide case-studies and research expertise for media.

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