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Lowestoft charity makes 'hats on'' plea

PUBLISHED: 10:26 26 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:30 06 July 2010

A LOWESTOFT charity is sending a rallying call to local people to back

a national campaign to raise awareness of brain tumours.

As part of Brain Tumour Awareness month in March, The Ellie Savage Memorial Trust is calling on businesses, schools, colleges, churches, pubs, clubs and other community groups to hold a series of Hats on for March events in the town.

A LOWESTOFT charity is sending a rallying call to local people to back

a national campaign to raise awareness of brain tumours.

As part of Brain Tumour Awareness month in March, The Ellie Savage Memorial Trust is calling on businesses, schools, colleges, churches, pubs, clubs and other community groups to hold a series of Hats on for March events in the town.

Ellie's Trust is joining forces with 13 fellow brain tumour charities throughout the country to raise awareness and much needed funds for research into brain tumours in the UK.

Today, local organisers are being encouraged to pick a date in March to hold a Wear a Hat day for brain tumours and donate a pound or more towards the vital cause.

Local Wear a Hat day organiser Wendy Savage, chairman of The Ellie Savage Memorial Trust, said: “Every year 16,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with a brain tumour. More children and people under the age of 40 die of a brain tumour than leukaemia or any other cancer, and five-year survival is still only 14pc.

“Put another way, only 14pc of people diagnosed with brain cancer survive beyond five years compared to 50pc for all other cancers - and sadly brain tumour research is woefully underfunded.”

With the poignant message, Remembering Ellie…helping others, Ellie's trust was established in February 2003 after the popular Lowestoft schoolgirl died from a rare brain tumour, aged just 14, in November 2002.

Her mum Wendy set up the charitable trust to help families in East Anglia who have a child with cancer or a brain tumour, by providing financial support.

After support from Waveney MP Bob Blizzard, and lobbying nationally, an informal partnership of a number of UK brain tumour charities - which went under the banner of the United Brain Tumour Campaign - was set up in 2004.

By 2008, these 14 UK brain tumour charities had joined forces to spawn the Brain Tumour Research group, which represents the united campaign voice of the Brain Tumour Research group of charities - and includes Ellie's Trust.

In 2008 alone, these charities jointly raised more than £1m. And with hundreds of thousands of pounds raised over the years locally and many families supported in this time, Mrs Savage today called on Journal readers to back the cause.

“Brain tumours are indiscriminate in the people they affect: young or old, male or female, with no regard to race,” she said. The prognosis is dependent on the type of tumour and its location in the brain; even a benign brain tumour can be life threatening. What's more, a benign tumour may become cancerous over time.

“Advances in surgery can delay the inevitable, but can leave debilitating side effects. Radiation therapy and some drugs can prolong life, but as yet there is no cure - to date, we don't fully understand the behaviour, let alone the cause.”

She added: “We hope both to raise awareness of this disease and to encourage people to donate towards helping us to raise the funds to find a cure.”

To organise an event for Brain Tumour Awareness month or for more details on how to organise a Wear a Hat day, call Mrs Savage on 01502 539509 or e-mail elliesav@hotmail.com

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