As we move into a new decade, I can’t help but remember that 20 years ago we celebrated the turn of the decade with high hopes.
Little did I know at that stage that in the year 2000 my family’s life and direction would change forever.
When my sister’s little girl, Alison Phelan, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in August 2000 we were shocked and horrified to learn that there was no cure. We lost her just 10 months later in June 2001, three weeks before her eighth birthday.
5,500 families a year in the UK are given the same awful news, yet in the past 20 years, there is still a paucity of treatment for brain tumour patients; lives continue to be devastated and less than 20% of those diagnosed will survive beyond five years.
We must change this!
With a new majority government, we will need your help to engage with new MPs to support our cause and ensure that brain tumours are kept on the political agenda. We must make sure that UK research remains at the forefront so that new treatments are discovered in the UK and are affordable for the NHS.
Our Centre Strategy is working well, with Centres poised to leverage the investment we have made in attracting other funders and to double the amount of funding they receive and increase the amount of research they can undertake in discovering the causes and finding new treatment pathways.
The Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence at the University of Portsmouth now has a sustainable future and is using the support we have given them over the last decade as a springboard to an exciting new phase as they take the research conducted there on to a new, wider neuroscience direction while growing their neuro-oncology research. As they become self-funding, this enables us to establish another centre in due course so that we can continue to grow the variety of research into brain tumours in the UK. We need to play our part in increasing the national investment in brain tumour research to £35 million a year and we need your help to do this.
As the UK emerges from austerity, we must continue to buck the trend and redouble our efforts to raise even more than we are doing now in order to support our Centres and establish more. We need to increase our reach and expand our research centre network.
There is so much appetite amongst the research community to engage in brain tumour research but they need us to help fund it and open the doors to attract funding from the larger cancer charities.
Please stay with us during 2020; please engage your community and organisations to get involved. If every one of you can double what you raised or gave, during 2019 and before, through engaging your networks, we can move at a greater speed towards finding a cure.
We can’t do it alone, we need your help with campaigning and fundraising, so please stay involved.
Together we will find a cure.