GET TO KNOW OUR OUR TRUSTEES
Wendy Fulcher is Chairman of Brain Tumour Research. Inspired by Neuro-surgeon Kevin O’Neill, Wendy founded the Brain Tumour Research Campaign in 2003 to fund research at Charing Cross Hospital in London. A founder member of the Brain Tumour Research Group of Member Charities, Wendy has represented the group on many forums, including as a representative of the National Cancer Research Institute brain tumour group. Wendy lost her husband John to a grade IV astrocytoma in June 2001.
Rob Hughes worked at Mars for 32 years where he held numerous positions in Sales and Marketing for both their Pet Food and Food divisions. He was Managing Director of Mars Food in the UK for 9 years and was a member of the Mars UK Board and the Mars European Food Board. Over the last three years he was a member and advisor to Business in the Community ‘Health in the Workplace’ Leadership team.Rob retired from Mars in May 2011. He is passionate about making a difference and is particularly interested in supporting the rehabilitation of children and young people with brain tumours, as well as raising brain tumour awareness and finding a cure. He is also the parent and charity representative on the NHS review of children’s neurosurgery. Rob and his wife, Carole, established Anna’s Hope, a member charity of Brain Tumour Research, when they lost their youngest daughter, Anna, to a brain tumour at the age of three years and eight months.
Sandy Saunders, President of the Board of Trustees, established The Diana Ford Trust in 2002 with other family members following the loss of his daughter Diana at the age of 38, to a grade IV glioblastoma multiforme. Diana's three sons were just seven, five and two. Sandy campaigned tirelessly for the formation of an alliance of brain tumour charities recognising the power of working together. In 2008, The Diana Ford Trust agreed to re-register as Brain Tumour Research and appoint new trustees from the membership. Two of the Diana Ford Trust’s three family trustees resigned to help facilitate the change. The move also allowed Brain Tumour Research to make use of the Diana Ford Trust’s cash deposits to fund the first stage of the new awareness campaign.
Sue Farrington Smith MBE
A fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, Sue Farrington Smith headed up the finance functions of blue-chip companies, before moving into marketing to head up business development at Safeway and then running her own marketing agency.
Driven by the loss of her niece, Alison Phelan, to a brain stem glioma (DIPG) just before her eighth birthday in June 2001, Sue co-founded the charity “Ali’s Dream” after being shocked to discover the lack of awareness and chronic under-funding of research into brain tumours.
She led the coming together of multiple charities in 2009 to launch Brain Tumour Research, facilitated by fellow member The Diana Ford Trust, with a vision to find a cure for brain tumours.
Sue was awarded an MBE in the 2016 New Year’s Honours for services to brain tumour research and awareness-raising.
She has been campaigning to raise awareness and funds since 2001, initiating, with fellow charities, National Brain Tumour Awareness Month in 2004 and establishing the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Brain Tumours (APPGBT) with John Bercow in 2005. As Chief Executive of Brain Tumour Research, Sue co-authored three reports into funding, produced the Invest In a Cure and Find a Cure manifestos and launched the charity’s annual Wear A Hat Day fundraising event in 2010.
In 2023 she authored the APPGBTs Inquiry report: Pathway to a Cure – breaking down the barriers.
Under Sue’s leadership Brain Tumour Research rapidly matured into a multi-million-pound organisation, supporting four Research Centres of Excellence in the UK. She succeeded in establishing a formidable network of supporters, expert researchers and clinicians, a strong leadership and committed team all working towards a common goal: to find a cure for brain tumours.
Following extensive surgery for a rare low-grade abdominal cancer in September 2022, Sue stepped down as Chief Executive in June 2023 and took up the role of a Trustee to continue to serve the Charity.
Jeremy is currently Legal Director of the Packaging division at DS Smith Plc, a FTSE 100 business. Jeremy is a highly experienced M&A and commercial lawyer. At DS Smith, he has helped to embed a culture of legal and regulatory compliance and implemented a robust system for managing legal and other risks within the Packaging division.
Prior to DS Smith, Jeremy managed the UK Legal Team at Siemens and before that he was EMEA Region Counsel for Baker Hughes, a Fortune 500 company. Jeremy is passionate about charitable causes and delighted to join the Board of Trustees of Brain Tumour Research.
Nigel Boutwood has been at the forefront of brain tumour campaigning since 1993 when his son Charlie was diagnosed with a malignant medulloblastoma at the age of 20 months. Charlie’s treatment was remarkably successful and he is now grown-up, fit and healthy, and pursuing a career in advertising. Nigel remains passionate about giving something back to the brain tumour community and finding a cure for this dreadful disease. He is also Chairman of the charity Charlie’s Challenge.
Ron is a qualified accountant with 25 years of experience in various finance leadership roles in both listed and unlisted private equity backed companies, most recently in oil and gas support services, software, neurological rehabilitation care homes, telecoms, oil and gas construction, shipping and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG).
Ron joined Brain Tumour Research as a Trustee in January 2021 motivated by the desire to find a cure. Tragically in 1999, Ron lost his father to a grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). In 2006 he lost his wife Nina at the age of 38 to a grade 4 GBM, leaving three young children. Having taken time out to raise a young family and with the experience of the personal devastation caused by this dreadful disease, he decided it was time to giving something back to try and find a cure. Ron is delighted to be working with Brain Tumour Research to help deliver its vision to find a cure for brain tumours.
Jack lost his mother, Debbie, to a glioblastoma (GBM) in February 2023 after a six-month battle. As a Trustee, he is able to channel his energy into something positive to help find a cure.
Jack brings strong skills in data analysis, web design, artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced technologies which will particularly help inform the Charity’s marketing strategy and processes. A former soldier, his current role is Data Insights Manager for the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) which provides entertainment, news, music and information for the Armed Forces and their dependents worldwide. Jack oversees a team analysing data for social media, marketing, campaign marketing, cinema, TV, radio
stations and news, and he also has responsibility for all BFBS’s reporting.
Denise joined Brain Tumour Research as a Trustee in August 2023, having worked in senior HR leadership positions for more than 15 years. Denise is currently Chief People Officer at Dunnhumby, an international company and a global leader in customer data science. She brings a wealth of knowledge and skills to the charity, including people and culture, reward and remuneration, as well as experience in audit and risk management, governance and strategy.
Denise’s family has experienced the devastating impact of brain tumours twice. She lost a nephew, Theo, aged just four, after a two-year battle, to an anaplastic ependymoma and her step-sister, Lynne was also treated in 2012 for a chondrosarcoma. Denise also has a close friend, originally diagnosed with ovarian cancer, which has metastasised into multiple brain tumours. In addition, she has several other friends and previous work colleagues who also have personal connections to the cause.
A Senior Partner at the Wellcome Trust, Nicola is an experienced research leader and manager, having held professional appointments at major public research institutions across four countries. She began her career in developmental genetics and held a number of post-doctoral positions in the USA, Canada and Switzerland. Nicola is particularly interested in improving the system for researchers so that they are not just individuals working in the lab, but have the right kind of support to develop their careers and also ensuring there is diversity and inclusion within the research world.
Nicola is keen to promote translational outcomes from discovery research, ensuring that research gets out of the lab and into health situations, bringing direct benefits to human health. She advocates looking at the whole ecosystem to cut out time-wasting, unnecessary cost and reduce the chance of projects falling through the gaps.
Although not having a personal connection to the brain tumour cause, Nicola’s family has a rare inherited health disorder which meant that her mother suffered with a chronic kidney disease while Nicola was growing up. It means that she is very aware of the holistic impact that diseases have on individuals and families and how isolating this can be. Nicola questions how much weight research gives to patients and families and wants to help give a voice to those affected so that they are the focus of all research end goals.