Family welcome research centre’s launch

Wayne Chessum, Hollie and Debbie, welcomes new Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence.
Wayne Chessum, Hollie and Debbie, welcomes new Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence.

A Billinghborough family have attended the launch of a new brain tumour research centre after helping raise thousands of pounds for the fight against the disease.

Wayne Chessum, 45, wife Debbie and daughter Hollie, were among those to attend the recently-held event at Queen Mary University of London.

The university, in collaboration with the London’s Institute of Neuorlogy, has entered into a partnership with Brain Tumour Research to create a new ‘Research Centre of Excellence’.

Since being diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2008, Wayne and his family and friends have worked to raise not only awareness of the disease but also funds to support research into it.

Earlier this year, two of Wayne’s fellow members of Billingborough Cricket Club, Dave Newman and Richard Wells, raised £14,000 for Brain Tumour Research through a world-record breaking batting session.

Other fundraising events have seen Debbie run the London and Edinburgh marathons, a disco, a garden party, a Santa sleigh ride, sales of Christmas cards and a ‘Wear A Hat Day’ event at Hollie’s ex-school - Billingborough CofE Primary. The fundraising total stands at £20,000.

Wayne, who continues to receive treatment for his brain tumour, said: “Visiting Queen Mary, meeting the scientists and being given a tour round the labs was an amazing experience and hugely reassuring to know that our fundraising has played its part in enabling Brain Tumour Research to launch this new Centre of Excellence which will bring us closer to finding more effective treatments and ultimately a cure.”

He added: “One in 50 people who die under the age of 60 years are dying from brain tumours. This is a shocking statistic, as is the fact that research in this area is woefully underfunded, receiving just one per cent of national cancer research spending.”

The event was hosted by Brain Tumour Research patron, John Bercow, speaker of the House of Commons.

Sue Farrington Smith, chief executive of Brain Tumour Research, said: “Together we’re establishing a powerful new team of researchers who will share our ambition of creating a better future for those diagnosed and living with a brain tumour. We are all determined that one day we will find a cure.”