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If only brain tumour research could be funded in the same way as leukaemia and other cancers

Ben Anderson – In Hope

Ben AndersonFourteen-year-old Young Scout Leader Ben Anderson went to the optician for a check up at the end of the summer holidays. Within hours he was referred to hospital and a scan revealed he had a brain tumour. Immediate action was required and Ben underwent surgery. He recovered well but needed further treatment, this time in the US, to halt the growth of his tumour. Despite the gruelling treatment and distruption cause to his schooling, Ben did well in his GCSEs and is now studying for a career which he hopes will see him working with children with special needs.

“My world had been turned upside town. I had walked into the opticians with a child who seemed perfectly healthy and was just days away from going into year 10 to start his GCSE courses. Less than 24 hours later my son was diagnosed with a brain tumour and needed life-saving surgery. I was 29 weeks pregnant. When Ben turned to me and said: ‘I really want to be here to meet my new baby brother or sister. Am I going to die mum?’ I told him no, he wasn’t going to die and we would do whatever was needed.”

Ben’s mum Jane tells his story … (more…)

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Helen Legh – In Hope

Helen LeghNew mum, Helen Legh, a BBC radio presenter, feared her baby daughter Matilda wouldn’t survive.  Now five, Matilda is thriving, but Helen faces the grim reality that she won’t see her daughter grow up and is making the most of whatever time they have left together.  She is also creating a treasure chest of precious mementoes for Matilda to cherish when she is gone.

“Even my worst fears hadn’t prepared me for this.  I immediately thought of my Matilda, then just four years old, who had only recently started at school.  How long was she going to have a Mummy? I was so sad to think how I was never going to see her grow up, or get married, how I was never going to be a Granny.  And more to the point, how were she and her Daddy going to cope when I died?”

Read Helen’s story… (more…)

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Guinness World Record Attempts in memory of inspirational Somerset teenager Emma Welch

805-Emma-Welch-with-Daisy-BearEmma Welch climbed Mount Snowdon last year with 135 teddy bears, setting a Guinness World Record just days before an operation to correct her scoliosis. Sadly, she passed away from complications, hours after the surgery, aged just 14.
Emma was a magnificent fundraiser of ours. Ever since she learnt that her former church minister had been diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour, Emma inspired more than £13,000 in donations. (more…)

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Gruff Crowther – In Hope

Gruff CrowtherIn September 2014, Gruff Crowther was diagnosed with a low grade brain tumour after problems with his sight and distinguishing shape and colour persisted through the beginning of his school years. His parents have been very open with Gruff from the start, telling him right from day one that he has a tumour and that means a lump of badly behaved cells which are reproducing incorrectly.

Gruff was placed on an 18-month course of chemotherapy. All being well, his last chemo session will be mid-April and a scan scheduled for the following month will show how successful the treatment has been. The hope is that the tumour has significantly shrunk, but even if this is the case Gruff’s  scans will continue every six months for the following two years. (more…)

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What do immunotherapy advances mean for brain tumours?

immunotherapyA piece of research, published in the journal “Science” today got widespread coverage on the BBC. This described the potential personalization of immunotherapy for people with different types of cancer which may help us to be more accurate in the targeting of new therapies.

What is immunotherapy? (more…)