Charlie’s Challenge aims to raise cash for brain tumour research

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CHARLIE’S Challenge, the Horam-based charity which raises funds for childhood brain tumour research, is now leading a national campaign.

The charity is the brainchild of Nigel Boutwood whose son, Charlie, was diagnosed with a brain tumour as a child. He is now fit and well.

The campaign aims to raise £7 million for seven Centres of Hope.

Volunteers want to get seven times closer to a cure for brain tumours and plan to sponsor 23 days’ research a year for the coming three years at the first Brain Tumour Research centres of excellence at the University of Portsmouth.

Actress and Chancellor of the University, Sheila Hancock, whose grandson, Jack, was diagnosed with a brain tumour, is spearheading the national campaign. She’s calling on businesses and individuals to help raise £1m a year to sponsor a day of research for £2,740, which will be recognised by a commemorative plaque on the centre’s Wall of Hope as well as on the website.

The centre, led by Professor Geoff Pilkington, is one of seven planned in a campaign to address under-funding of research into the UK’s biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40.

While statistics for many cancers have shown encouraging improvement those on brain tumours make depressing reading. More children and people under 40 die of a brain tumour than from any other cancer and the five year survival rate remains at 14 per cent.

Nigel Boutwood said: “This is an exciting step forward towards finding a cure for brain tumours which will bring hope to the thousands of children and adults who are diagnosed each year. Charlie’s Challenge is proud to be leading the way.”