DETERMINED Simon Tier was invited to see the opening of a new research centre after raising £25,000 towards it.
Simon, from Fareham, had spent years raising money for charity Brain Tumour Research since his best friend Alan Neilson was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour in 2011.
Simon got to see his hard work pay off as a new Centre of Excellence was opened at Plymouth University to help fight brain tumours.
He said: ‘I am always impressed when I see a new unit and labs and see the work these guys do.’
Simon, 46, felt especially connected to the centre as his father, John, 82, lives in Plymouth and so took him to see the opening.
‘My dad was really impressed,’ said Simon.
‘He kept drawing parallels with science fiction films.’
The centre will help fight brain tumours through researching the disease and repurposing existing drugs to be used in brain tumour treatment.
Professor Oliver Hanemann is leading the centre. He said: ‘At present the only treatment options for people with such brain tumours is invasive surgery or radiotherapy or facing the prospect of no suitable treatment.
‘By finding and fast-tracking how drugs are tested, we have the potential to make safer, more effective drug therapies available to patients more quickly.’
Simon raised money for Brain Tumour Research along with his colleagues at Airbus where he works as a project manager.
They held a variety of different events, including a bike ride across the South Downs called the Great Bearded Bike Off and a ride from John O’Groats to Lands End.
When Simon’s friend, and best man at his wedding, Alan, 46, from Portsmouth, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2011, he was told he only had 14 months to live but has defied the odds and is still alive.
Since his friend’s diagnosis, Simon wanted to raise money to help research the disease.
He said: ‘The fact that he gets the diagnosis and has a prognosis of around about a year when you’re in your forties is horrible.
‘But to still be here three or four years later is brilliant but to know that at any time he could go is a rollercoaster.’
To make a donation go to justgiving.com/Simon-Tier