Rob Hughes, of Anna's Hope charity, at Westminster to hear of progress on cure for brain tumours since death of MP Tessa Jowell
A dad who lost his daughter to a brain tumour at the age of three was among patients and relatives at Westminster yesterday (Tuesday) to hear of the progress that's been made since the death of MP Tessa Jowell being made to help find a cure for the disease.
Rob Hughes, of Pilsgate near Barnack, set up Anna’s Hope, a member charity of the Brain Tumour Research charity, along with wife Carole, to assist in the rehabilitation of children and young people who have undergone brain surgery, as well as to support the funding of research into the causes, treatment and cure of childhood brain tumours.
Rob said: “We owe it to Anna and all the other patients and their families to continue to do what we can in order to press for change. We found out the hard way that brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer. It is appalling to discover that, historically, just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease whereas cancers such as breast and leukaemia have received more than six per cent enabling huge improvements in survival rates and outcomes.
“Finally this area is beginning to get the attention it deserves. Three years ago an e-petition led to a report by the Petitions Committee on funding, a Westminster Hall debate and a DoHSC Task and Finish Group and now we have the high-profile Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission (TJBCM) which is taking forward the recommendations of our campaigning work.
“We must do all we can to ensure no parent hears the dreaded words that their child has an incurable brain tumour and that there are no more treatment options available. I’m optimistic about the future.”
Rob was attending the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Brain Tumours (APPGBT) which was established by Brain Tumour Research and its member charities to champion the cause. Also in attendance were other families, patients, charity campaigners, scientists and politicians who heard an update from Nicky Huskens, Director of TJBCM.
Rob is also a trustee of Brain Tumour Research, which has been at the forefront of raising awareness of brain tumours and funds a network of Centres of Excellence where scientists are focused on improving treatment options for brain tumour patients and, ultimately, finding a cure.
Sue Farrington Smith MBE, Chief Executive of Brain Tumour Research, who holds a leading role on the TJBCM steering group, said: “We will always remember children like Anna whose lives were tragically cut short and we are indebted to her family and the many others who continue to share their stories and campaign with us for change. Together we will find a cure.”
March is Brain Tumour Awareness Month and culminates in the UK-wide fundraiser Wear A Hat Day which has raised more than a million pounds since Brain Tumour Research was launched 10 years ago.
For more information go to www.braintumourresearch.org