Bauble of hope in fight against brain tumours

(right) Richard Preston and researchers at Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence University of Portsmouth. ' ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (143409-604)

(right) Richard Preston and researchers at Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence University of Portsmouth. ' ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (143409-604)

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BRAIN tumour patient Richard Preston is helping to spread a message of hope this Christmas.

Richard, who was diagnosed with an aggressive glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain tumour a year ago, has launched the Hope Tree Christmas Appeal for the charity Brain Tumour Research at its Research Centre of Excellence in the University of Portsmouth.

Watched by members of the scientific research team and others from the university, Richard placed the first of the charity’s baubles of hope on the tree.

He is encouraging others to make a donation and place their own message of hope, supporting people affected by brain tumours and those working to improve outcomes for patients and ultimately find a cure.

Richard, 45, of Harkness Drive, Waterlooville, said: ‘I was diagnosed with a brain tumour just over a year ago and have had surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapies.

‘I have been told my tumour may come back and that I could die in a couple of years.

‘To me, there isn’t enough time to sit around and be miserable.

‘I just want to get on with the life I have left and if I can help to raise awareness of brain tumours and support the vital research which is going on right here in Portsmouth that will mean a lot to me.’

As reported in The News last month, Richard married his long-term partner Wendy earlier this year and they set off on a month-long Mediterranean cruise.

They plan even more foreign adventures while Richard is still well enough.

Brain Tumour Research currently helps fund – through corporate and public fundraising – an annual £1m programme of research at their Centre of Excellence at the University of Portsmouth.

Additional partnerships with Plymouth University, Queen Mary University of London and Imperial College in London, will pave the way for a £20m investment in brain tumour research over the next five years, bringing the UK to the forefront of research.

Professor Geoff Pilkington leads the research team.

He said: ‘Meeting people like Richard reinforces the importance of the work we are doing, both here in the city and in collaboration with other Brain Tumour Research Centres of Excellence, to understand more about brain tumours which are the biggest cancer killer of children and the under 40s.

‘Our work has the potential to help many people: around 16,000 are diagnosed with a brain tumour each year and as many as 40 per cent of other cancers spread to the brain, often with life-threatening consequences.’

To support the work of Brain Tumour Research and dedicate a message on the Hope Tree go to justgiving.com/TheHopeTree or braintumourresearch.org.

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