Daughter raises thousands for research after Hartlepool mum’s devastating brain cancer diagnosis

Ann Brown and her daughter Gemma McIver, who held an entertainment night in her honour and to raise funds for Brain Tumour Research.
Ann Brown and her daughter Gemma McIver, who held an entertainment night in her honour and to raise funds for Brain Tumour Research.

A woman has led a campaign to raise thousands of pounds towards research into brain tumours as her mother is cared for in the town’s hospice.

Gemma McIver’s mum Ann Brown is in Alice House Hospice after her devastating diagnosis in July at the age of 53, with the discovery made after she had a sudden seizure.

Ann Brown with husband David and grandchildren Charlie (left) and Teddy (right).

Ann Brown with husband David and grandchildren Charlie (left) and Teddy (right).

Now Gemma, herself a mum-of-two, has honoured her mother by raising more than £4,000 for Brain Tumour Research.

She hosted a Christmas-themed night attended by 270-plus people at Belle Vue Way Social Club, with a tombola, raffle and games held and donations gifted by businesses including Cards R Hudsons, Thea’s Wardrobe and Domino’s, while Noble Catering Services donated food for the event.

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The 28-year-old, who lives in Hartlepool, said: “I’m so pleased with how the charity night went and I’m over the moon with how much was raised.

“Thank you to everyone who has helped to make the event possible.

Mum’s diagnosis has hit our family so hard.

Gemma McIver

“It made mum so happy to see how many people came along and she is so touched by everyone’s support.”

Ann has been diagnosed with an inoperable glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) – a highly aggressive type of brain tumour.

The mum-of-two and grandmother to Gemma’s two sons underwent radiotherapy and began chemotherapy but she deteriorated too much to continue with treatment.

Gemma added: “Mum’s diagnosis has hit our family so hard; we can’t believe how cruel this disease is and how underfunded research into a cure is.

The Christmas-themed evening brought all ages together.

The Christmas-themed evening brought all ages together.

“For that reason, I’m determined to raise awareness and raise funds so that other families don’t have to go through what we’re going through.

“It is truly heart-breaking to experience.”

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Matthew Price, community fundraising manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: “It’s incredible that Gemma has organised this event and raised so much whilst going through an extremely difficult time.

“We are so grateful for her support and Ann is in our thoughts.

“Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer yet, historically, just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.

“We cannot allow this situation to continue and I hope people will join Gemma on her mission to raise funds and awareness.”

Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at Research Centres of Excellence in the UK.

It also campaigns for the Government and the larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours in order to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure.

The charity is calling for an annual spend of £35 million in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia.

Anyone who would like to donate towards research can visit www.braintumourresearch.org/donation.