Brain tumour patients call for more funding to find a cure

  • Watch Liz Summers' report from Bedford

  • Watch Tanya Mercer's report from Suffolk

A man from Bedford is one of more than 100,000 brain tumour patients and their families calling on the Government to fund vital research to find a cure.

Eddie Adams was forging a successful career as drag queen when he was diagnosed with a grade 3 anaplastic astrocytoma and given up to five years to live. 

The 32-year-old's story leads the petition report which has been published by the charity Brain Tumour Research, based in Milton Keynes, and sent to MPs. 

Eddie Adams, 32, from Bedford is campaigning for more funding for research into brain tumours. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Eddie Adams said: "I'm quite an optimistic person. I'll find a silver lining pretty much in anything that I can.

"But to be completely frank with you, there's only a 12 per cent chance that I'll be here this time next year and I don't want to die knowing that this funding still isn't being taken seriously.

"It's incredibly important, there's a lot of exciting stuff going on clinically. But if you don't get the research and if you don't get the funding for the research, it doesn't matter because it'll never get to the people."

Research funding since 2002:

  • Breast cancer - £680 million

  • Brain tumours - £96 million

Sue Farrington Smith MBE, Chief Executive of Milton Keynes-based Brain Tumour Research, said: "My sister's little girl Alison Phelan was diagnosed with a brain stem glioma (DIPG) brain tumour in August 2000.

"Ten months later we lost her, in June 2001, three weeks before her eighth birthday.

"Twenty years on and the fate of adults and children diagnosed with these tumours has not improved - in fact the five-year survival rate has fallen to just 12%.

"What's more, people diagnosed with low-grade tumours that become aggressive over time live with a ticking time bomb, not knowing if or when their tumour might become a lethal grade 4.

"Now is the time to give hope to the thousands of families impacted by a brain tumour every year. Along with more than 112,000 people, I am calling on the Government to make this the time to level up and stop the devastation."

A Department of Health & Social Care spokesperson said:

“Brain tumours are responsible for more deaths of children and younger people than any other type of cancer, which is why we have redoubled our efforts to find therapies and new treatments.

“We announced £40 million of funding for research over five years in 2018 and since then, almost £8.8 million has already been committed to directly fund 10 research projects. We want to encourage research teams to submit high-quality applications for further funding.

“This funding is on top of research already underway and spending through National Institute for Health Research infrastructure on technology and research expertise.”