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New supporter group for Cumbrian brain tumour families

Vicky Mason with her father Christopher Todd
Vicky Mason with her father Christopher Todd

[A] new supporter group is being launched for families across Cumbria who have been affected by brain tumours.

With incidences of the disease increasing, the national charity Brain Tumour Research has set up the initiative to help connect patients and their families and to support their fundraising towards finding better treatments and, ultimately, a cure.

The latest available figures show that the number of brain tumour diagnoses in the North West are the second highest of any of the English regions. In 2014, 604 people were diagnosed, a 31% increase since 2011.

The inaugural meeting of the Brain Tumour Research Cumbrian Supporter Group will be held at The Roundthorn Country Hotel, Penrith, on Thursday 20th April. Invited guests will hear from the charity’s Director of Research, Dr Kieran Breen, who will give an insight into how funds raised are being invested in a network of Centres of Excellence where scientists are dedicated to improving outcomes for patients and finding a cure.

Dr Breen said: “Brain tumours cannot currently be prevented because their causes are not yet understood. Less than 20% of brain tumour patients survive beyond five years compared with 50% for all other cancers and treatments for brain tumours lag seriously behind other cancers.

“At the current rate of spend it could take 100 years for brain cancer to catch up with developments in other diseases.”

Whitehaven woman Vicky Mason, who lost her father Chris Todd, aged 64, to a brain tumour late last year, will co-ordinate the new group. She will be speaking at the event about her dad’s diagnosis and treatment and her work with the charity which has included lobbying at Westminster. She has raised more than £20,000 for vital research through a variety of events.

Sara Eltman, North West Community Fundraising Manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “We have great support across the region from patients, spouses and siblings who are supporting someone with a brain tumour, and the many relatives and friends who have lost someone to this terrible disease. The group is a great opportunity for people to meet others who are going through or have been through a similar experience in order to support each other and their fundraising efforts.

“Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer … yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.”

The meeting on Thursday 20th April takes place from 7-9pm and is by invitation only. Places are limited and can be secured by emailing [email protected] by Tuesday 18th April.

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