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Hampshire charity marks 25-year anniversary

On 9 November, over 100 staff and guests celebrated the success of The Brain Tumour Charity.

The event included Trustees, the charity’s founders Neil and Angela Dickson, researchers and families supported by the work of the Fleet-based Charity.

The Brain Tumour Charity is the UK’s largest dedicated brain tumour charity, committed to fighting brain tumours on all fronts.

The Charity states that 33 people are diagnosed with a brain tumour every day in the UK. Yet changes in survival rates have barely improved in over 40 years compared with other cancers, investment in research is low and diagnosis is still taking far too long. The organisation funds pioneering research to increase survival and improve treatment options, as well as raising awareness of the symptoms and effects of brain tumours to bring about earlier diagnosis. It also provides support for everyone affected so that they can live as full a life as possible, with the best quality of life.

Neil and Angela held the special 25th Anniversary Celebration at The Charity’s new offices in Fleet, inviting Trustees and Staff, both past and present, Supporter Groups, and family and friends who have supported the Charity over the years.

Neil gave a presentation on the great progress The Brain Tumour Charity had made over the last 25 years, including the major international breakthroughs that had come about thanks to the high quality research that had been funded by The Charity. Some of these have now led to changes in patient treatment throughout the world, increasing the chances of survival, and reducing the long-term damage caused by aggressive treatment in the past. He also outlined the great success of the HeadSmart Campaign which not only received five National Awards but had reduced average diagnosis time from 13 to 6.5 weeks for children with brain tumours.

Angela was very moved to meet a number of young patients she had supported in the early days of the charity when they had first been diagnosed. Several of these have successfully gone on to University and now entering the world of business against all the odds.

Angela said: “When we first set up the Charity, initially in our daughter’s name, we never thought we would have achieved so much, and part of this is the fact that so little was being done for this disease. Brain tumours reduce average life expectancy by 27 years – by far the highest burden of any cancer or major disease. “We have helped extend average life expectancy by 15 months (5%) for those with brain cancer, amongst the highest increase of any major disease or cancer since 2010.

Neil and Angela thanked all those who came to the event: “We know we still have a mountain to climb, but we are very proud of what we have achieved so far and have inspired others to turn a negative into a positive. “We have personally helped so many through their journey, and with their continued faith in us, know we will achieve so much more in the future.” Jack Morris, Chair of the Trustees of The Brain Tumour Charity, said: “What is incredible if what they have created from that devastation at a family level and built a charity which has achieved so much over the years and continues to achieve so much. “Neil and Angela have become somewhat celebrities in our sector because of the work they have achieved. They are known and loved by the medical community, the researchers we support and everyone in our wider brain tumour community.”

Beredina Norton, another Trustee who attended the evening, said: “What a wonderful evening and such a fitting tribute to the achievements of Neil and Angela.

“To go from nothing to £58m towards research, is the stuff of which movies should be made and I suspect that history will write their names large when progress into defeating brain tumours is recorded.”

Dr David Jenkinson, Interim CEO at The Brain Tumour Charity, said: “For everything that Neil and Angela have done over the 25 years, for everything they have done for the charity, our sincere and heartfelt thanks. “They have helped us to make an impact to change the way people are being treated, being supported and an impact to change the future for everyone affected by a brain tumour diagnosis.”


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