The Right to Hope

5 min read

Hope is the theme of this week's update.
Research brings hope, campaigning brings hope.
It is hope that unites us all in the vision of a cure for all types of brain tumours.

Earlier this week we were able to introduce Catherine Walker MBE to the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Brain Tumours (APPGBT) Derek Thomas. 

Following his glioblastoma diagnosis Catherine’s husband Air Marshal David Walker died in June. David was one of the RAF’s most gifted pilots and visionary leaders who then devoted his retirement to the Royal British Legion and Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
David and Catherine felt deeply that the most important thing a cancer patient needs is hope, and that for those diagnosed with some forms of cancer, where there should be hope there is instead only despair, frustration and anguish. They established the Right to Hope to challenge this. 
Catherine is very clear that for this situation to change there needs to be appropriate funding for research as it is the progress of scientific endeavour in disease that underpins all improvements in options and outcomes. 
For that reason she is keen to campaign alongside Brain Tumour Research and we look forward to a long, positive and impactful collaboration. 

On Tuesday Catherine also met with her MP Peter Wishart (Perth and North Perthshire - SNP) who asked the following question at that afternoon’s oral health questions:
“My constituent Air Marshal Dr David Walker, an inspirational leader and academic, sadly died of glioblastoma in June. When diagnosed, he and his wife Catherine were shocked to learn of the woefully low funding for brain and other less survivable cancers and established the charity the Right to Hope with Cancer. Will the Minister show the courage and leadership so epitomised by the life of Air Marshal Walker, and properly resource and fund less survivable cancers, so that everyone living with cancer has some sort of hope?”
It was answered by Health Minister Andrew Stephenson who said:
“The hon. Gentleman makes an important point. My 23-year-old constituent Laura Nuttall, from Barrowford, died in May, five years after being diagnosed with a glioblastoma, having been given just a year to live. Before her diagnosis, Laura did work experience in my parliamentary and constituency offices. She was one of the most remarkable people I have ever met. As I get up to speed in my new ministerial role, he can rest assured that I will make as much progress as possible in this area. It is a personal priority to me.”
Laura's mother Nicola, who is also well known to the Minister, is one of the UK brain tumour community's most visible campaigners and  has attended the last two meetings of the APPGBT and also spoke at our November researcher workshop (pictured below).

This photo was taken at that workshop too and is, in one room, the focus of our research funding - the brightest minds working to unlock the uniquely complex puzzle that brain tumours pose. This is a roomful of hope - please click on the photo to find out more. 

The hope that research and campaigning bring needs to be funded though and every week, as a team, we share humbling stories from our fundraisers on what motivates them. Sometimes though the fundraisers are the team and we'd like to celebrate the fundraising that has been, and is being done, by my colleagues Tania Faverzani and Kerry Wilson plus the amazing efforts of two of our trustees Jeremy Aron and Jack Goodwin who through 2024 is aiming to run a total of 2,740km in distance to raise awareness and funds and is calling it the 2024 Megathon!

He told us: "My Mum Debbie tragically lost her battle with a brain tumour in February 2023, and since then I have wanted to help others in both dealing with the cruel disease and finding a cure that could one day prevent others from experiencing what my Mum, and many others have.

"Brain Tumour Research will be in its 15th year next year, so to commemorate that, I have pledged that I will include 15 marathons in my target!

"I already have some incredible races booked, such as the Milton Keynes Marathon, Berlin Marathon and Dublin Marathon! But I need much more, so I am open to any offers if you can help guide me into any weird and wacky races around the UK."

Click here to donate to Jack.

Please click on our Christmas Advent Calendar below, which is filled with poignant stories from across the UK, all reminding us why research into brain tumours is so vital.

This year, the Success Carol Concert will take place from 6pm on Tuesday 12th December, in the impressive, historic and atmospheric Temple Church in the City of London with their patron Dominic Grieve KC and the renowned Norwich Cathedral Choir. 
Our friends at the charity would like to invite everyone to this wonderful Christmas event celebrating the many young people (more than 30,000) across the UK who are now survivors of childhood brain tumours.
Tickets are available from £15.00  - click on the invite below.

The run up to Christmas must be a very tough time for many of you and with brain tumour stories again in the headlines you are all in our thoughts.

When things are bleak to be hopeful must seem an impossible task but  the very fact that you have asked to receive these weekly updates means that you believe in hope.

You believe that together we can make things better.

Together we can get closer to a cure

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