A bereaved Wellesbourne family is to take a starring role in a new campaign raising awareness of brain tumours, having experienced the devastating reality of the disease.
Malcolm and Caroline Boyd and their children Juliet, 9 and Noah 7, will take centre stage during Brain Tumour Awareness Month in March, following the death of Malcolm’s father Arthur four years ago.
Arthur, from County Down, died aged 69 just six months after his diagnosis with glioblastoma multiforme, a highly aggressive type of tumour.
Despite brain tumours killing more people under the age of 40 than any other cancer, historically just 1 per cent of national spend on cancer research goes to this area.
Malcolm said: “When I heard that my father had been diagnosed with a brain tumour and there was nothing they could do about it, I just dropped the phone, I couldn’t believe it. It was my first experienced of anything to do with brain tumours and almost six months to the day later he died.
“I can’t put into words how much Dad meant to my family; he was a rock, always there. In some ways, it feels like forever since he died, but in other ways it feels like yesterday. Noah was just three years old when Dad passed away and it makes me sad to think of all the happy memories Dad will miss out on. He would have loved to see his grandchildren grow up.
“It’s such a low level of funding that goes into this area, it’s shocking really especially given how many people, particularly young people are affected by it. I don’t know why so little money goes into it, maybe it’s under exposure, it’s called a brain tumour, but it’s actually brain cancer.
“There was very little that could be done to help my dad, the way the NHS helped was excellent, but the fact is that there just are not the treatments available to fight brain tumours that there are for other types of cancer.”
Images of the Boyd family will be used in a marketing campaign for Brain Tumour Awareness Month, which culminates in Wear a Hat Day on Friday 27th March.
Now in its 11th year, Wear a Hat Day has raised more than £1.25million to help fund the fight against the disease, with people organising hat-themed activities and event to help raise the profile of brain tumours.
All those taking part in the Wear A Hat Day 2020 campaign have either been bereaved by a brain tumour, are living with a brain tumour or have a close family member who has been diagnosed.
It doesn’t end there for Malcolm though, who in April will run the London Marathon in aid of Brain Tumour Research.
He has previously taken part in a number of other fundraisers for the charity, including running a 100-mile ultra-marathon the year his father died.
“I didn’t start running until after my dad died, I’ve tried to keep it up a bit since I did the ultra-marathon and I’m really looking forward to doing London in April.” Malcolm said.
“I’m proud to be raising money for Brain Tumour Research, it’s a charity very close to my heart. Supporting brain tumour research will hopefully improve things for others or even prevent people from developing brain tumours.”
Malcolm, who helps design medical devices at work, including those used in radiotherapy treatments, says colleagues will be supporting Wear A Hat Day with him.
If you would like to support Malcolm’s London Marathon run in aid of Brain Tumour Research visit www.justgiving.com/londonmarathon-beatcancer