Red Wellies brain tumour support fund, set up in memory of King’s Lynn woman Lisa Wiles, at launch of new research network

Jo Rust, Vivien Overland, Mervyn and Rosalie Wiles at the London launch.

Jo Rust, Vivien Overland, Mervyn and Rosalie Wiles at the London launch. - Credit: Archant

Pioneering research partnerships could bring new hope to the 16,000 people diagnosed each year with a brain tumour.

Fifty patients, carers, scientists, clinicians and charities from across the UK headed to Speaker's House, at the Houses of Parliament in London, for the launch of three ground-breaking new collaborative partnerships set up by the charity Brain Tumour Research and three Research Centres of Excellence.

They included Mervyn Wiles of Middleton, near King's Lynn, along with his wife, Rosalie and Joanne Rust and Vivien Overland.

The Wiles's daughter Lisa was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour in 2010, passing away at the age of 43 just 14 months later. Mr Wiles, along with family and friends, set up the Lisa Wiles Red Wellies brain tumour support fund in her memory.

At the reception Mr Wiles said: 'My daughter Lisa survived just fourteen months after diagnosis with a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). 'A couple of weeks before her diagnosis she had run the Race for Life to help others with cancer. She continued fundraising throughout her illness including walking the Race for Life again, twelve months later, aided by her Mum, sister and daughter, knowing that her efforts would be too late to save her.

'As time went on we watched the debilitating effects of this devastating disease as she lost the ability to communicate and control her movements.

'Lisa was just 43 when she passed away in 2011 and in her final year of a BA in Psychology and Sociology.

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'Since we lost Lisa we have set up The Lisa Wiles Red Wellies Brain Tumour Support Fund (a member charity of Brain Tumour Research) to raise funds for research into glioblastomas (or GBMs).

'One of my main worries and a great source of sadness is that Lisa's children, who were 14, 18 and 20 when she passed away, are having to grow up without their Mum and that Lisa will not see her children married or having her grandchildren.'

The announcement will open a new chapter in long-term sustainable and continuous research into the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40 and paves the way for a £20 million investment in brain tumour research over the next five years.

Brain Tumour Research plans to open a network of research centres throughout the UK where research work will include greater understanding of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), low grade tumours and the biology of brain tumour metabolism.

With secure long-term funding covering the key salaried positions within these centres, the researchers will be able to pursue the sustainable and continuous research so desperately needed.

Scientists will be trained up through the ranks to fulfil their potential, rather than being tempted into other cancer research which currently attracts greater funding.

Sue Farrington Smith, chief executive of Brain Tumour Research, said: 'Along with our centre at the University of Portsmouth, the centres will form a new and powerful network, collaborating with each other and other institutes, both within the UK and internationally, in order to accelerate progress in brain tumour research and make a clinical difference.

'All involved share a vision of a sustainable and secure research for brain tumours in the UK, ultimately creating better futures for all those diagnosed and living with a brain tumour.'

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