Droitwich parents anger over lack of brain tumour research funding after losing son - The Droitwich Standard

Droitwich parents anger over lack of brain tumour research funding after losing son

Droitwich Editorial 10th Aug, 2023   0

A DROITWICH couple who lost their only child just weeks after he was diagnosed with a brain tumour have spoken of their ‘anger’ at the lack of funding to research the disease.

Oliver Amess, the son of Robin and Wendy, died on January 28, 2022, 20 days after he was diagnosed with a glioblastoma (GBM) brain tumor.

The 26-year-old Droitwich dental technician and computer games art graduate began suffering from headaches and blurred vision, physical sickness and episodes of speaking nonsense.

A day after he returned home, on 8 January 2022, he was rushed to hospital suspected of suffering a stroke, before doctors found the GBM.

Robin, 56, said: “We’re angry. There seems to be money invested in other conditions and cancers however brain tumours are at the bottom of the pile.”

Oli had emergency surgery at University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire to drain the build-up of fluid on his brain.

He was later placed in critical care with his parents only being able to visit him separately for one hour at a time due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“We had a little bit of hope when Oli came round and squeezed our hand, however he never fully woke up.

The tumour’s location meant removal of the mass was too risky, and his body would not have coped with chemotherapy.

Robin added: “At the end of the third week in hospital, conversations with the doctors became hopeless, there was nothing that could save our boy.”

Robin and Wendy are now campaigning alongside the charity Brain Tumour Research to help reach 100,000 signatures on its petition to increase research funding and prompt a parliamentary debate.

The charity is calling on the Government to ring-fence £110 million of funding to increase investment in brain tumour research to £35 million a year by 2028.

It says the increase in investment would put brain tumours in line with the spend on cancers of breast, bowel and lung, and leukaemia.

Brain tumours kill more people under 40 than any other cancer leaving Robin to ask ‘where is the investment to save this generation?’

He said: “For us, everything happened so quick, Oli was taken away in an ambulance and we never got to speak again.

“It’s too late for Oliver but if our experience can help raise awareness and get the Government to sit up and listen then that will be our battle.”

Five years after the government announced £40 million for brain cancer research, less than £11 million has been spent.

Mel Tiley, community development manager at the charity, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Robin and Wendy for supporting our petition.

“For too long governments have put brain tumours on the ‘too difficult to think about’ pile.

“Patients and families continue to be let down by a funding system that is not fit for purpose.”

Visit: www.braintumourresearch.org/petition to sign the petition.


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