Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone, at any age. What’s more, they kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.
Behind the wheel of the bus was Managing Director of Plymouth Citybus, Richard Stevens, who said:
“To have a cutting-edge research facility on our doorstep is great for Plymouth and shows that the city is leading the way in research into brain tumours. We're proud to be supporting such a worthwhile cause and hope the striking new bus really helps to raise awareness of a disease that affects so many people each year. Passengers travelling on the bus will be able to donate on board as well as find out more about where the money raised will go."
A number of patients and families who have been affected by brain tumours joined the event to show their support. Heather Turner, 46, from Brixham, was diagnosed when she was 24 with a low-grade brain tumour. For Heather the only treatment option was surgery, but complications caused nerve damage leading to life-long difficulties including facial palsy and the loss of sight in one eye.
Joining them were nurses from the neuro-oncology team at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth have been supporting the event by donning decorative headwear and encouraging their colleagues to join in the fun. Every year patients of all ages, with many different types of low- and high-grade brain tumours, are treated by the expert team at Derriford.
Wear A Hat Day event has raised over a million pounds since it was launched by Brain Tumour Research nine years ago. The money raised funds research that is taking place at the charity’s four Centres of Excellence, including the one at the University of Plymouth. In the UK, 16,000 people each year are diagnosed with a brain tumour.
Emma Cronin, Fundraising Manager for Brain Tumour Research, said:
“I’m so pleased to see so many people from across Plymouth donning their hats and raising money for Wear a Hat Day 2018. We would like to thank everyone for their support. Every year thousands of people are given the news that they have a brain tumour and often the treatment options are limited. The money raised today will go towards pioneering research that is taking place at the University of Plymouth.”