Centre of excellence gets Wayne’s backing

Wayne Chessum with his wife Debbie and daughter Hollie, 12, at the launch of a new centre
Wayne Chessum with his wife Debbie and daughter Hollie, 12, at the launch of a new centre
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A family from Billingborough have welcomed the launch of a new Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence supported by £1 million of funding per year.

Wayne Chessum, 45, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2008, was among numerous patients, family members and carers, scientists, clinicians and charity workers who gathered for the launch of a groundbreaking new partnership between the charity Brain Tumour Research and Queen Mary University of London in collaboration with the UCL Institute of Neurology on Thursday last week.

The centre, led by leading brain tumour specialist Professor Silvia Marino, will specialise in identifying how tumours form and grow within the brain with the aim of finding more efficient drug treatments.

Since he was diagnosed with his brain tumour Wayne, his wife Debbie and daughter Hollie, 12, have worked to raise awareness of brain tumours.

In January, two of Wayne’s fellow members of Billingborough Cricket Club Dave Newman and Richard Wells broke the Guinness World Record for the longest individual net session while raising £14,000 for Brain Tumour Research. In total the fundraising inspired by Wayne has reached £20,000.

Other fundraising events have included Debbie (who is a health trainer for the NHS North Kesteven District) running the London and Edinburgh Marathons, a disco, a garden party, a Santa sleigh ride round the villages, sales of Christmas cards and a Wear A Hat Day event at Hollie’s former school – Billingborough CofE Primary.

Wayne said: “Visiting Queen Mary, meeting the scientists and being given a tour round the labs was an amazing experience and hugely reassuring to know that our fundraising has played its part in enabling Brain Tumour Research to launch this new Centre of Excellence which will bring us closer to finding more effective treatments and ultimately a cure.”

Wayne was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour in 2008 after being treated for suspected inner-ear problems. He underwent a craniotomy at Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham to remove the tumour.

It wasn’t until 2012, three years later, that Wayne’s neuro-surgeon was able to confirm that his tumour had not regrown. He continues to have MRI scans every year with the hope that these will eventually show the tumour reducing.