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

Two minutes with… Sue Farrington Smith – Chief Executive

What’s the first thing you do in the morning?

Press the snooze button. I’m not very good at mornings, I am a night owl and don’t go to bed much before 1am most nights – often much later.

If you could do another job, what would it be?

I would like to become a hands-on grandma… but with teenage daughters, I have to wait a while for that!

What do you want to achieve in this field (main ambition)?

To find a cure for brain tumours – after my family, I have dedicated my life to this.

What is your favourite hat?

I never used to wear hats, but now I buy a new one every year for Wear A Hat Day. I prefer fascinators and have a lovely, big blue one with yellow flowers that I haven’t yet worn.

Who inspires you?

People who have the courage of their convictions have always been my role models: Joan of Arc, Margaret Thatcher and my maternal grandmother.

Now, my inspiration to find a cure for brain tumours is my sister’s little girl, Alison Phelan, whom we lost to a brain tumour three weeks before her eighth birthday.

What is your favourite memory?

I have so many but I would single out when my husband asked me to move in with him and the day we met our adoptive children.

Why did you choose your profession?

I am a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants by profession. My dad advised me to get a qualification which would stand me in good stead. He was right. This complemented my degree in Psychology and move into marketing in my thirties. A corporate career in a variety of sectors has given me the skills and experience to build the charity and take our fight to Westminster.

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