THE first fund raiser for a new support group for people with brain tumours has been hailed a resounding success.
The West Midlands Brain Tumour Support group was formed by Solihull mum Ann Atkins and others who were concerned about the lack of funding and support for brain tumour patients.
The event took place at last Saturday’s Donkey Derby in Shirley Park and was organised by Ann, the group’s co-ordinator, whose seven-year-old daughter Iona has a brain tumour.
The group hosted a children’s tombola stall which proved so popular that they ran out of prizes.
Ann said: “This was an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of the group and raise money which will be used directly to run the West Midlands Support group.
“Brain Tumour UK is currently campaigning for the number of cases in the UK to be accurately recorded.
“Unfortunately it is estimated that thousands are not which has obvious implications for funding and research.
“It is hoped that our support group can help raise awareness locally and enable people who need help to get it.”
Saturday’s event included a close shave for Olton builder Mario Popello, who volunteered to have his thick and curly locks cut to raise funds.
Mario decided to have his hair cut after recent intensive radiotherapy treatment has left Iona with large areas on her head where her hair has fallen out.
Mario, whose daughter Lara is a friend of Iona’s, said, “When I saw how brave little Iona was throughout her treatment and especially when her hair came out, I just had to do this.”
The stall at the Donkey Derby, which was organised by Shirley Rotarians, raised £300 for Brain Tumour UK whilst Mario’s hair raising experience raised £200. The group has regular formal and informal meetings, fundraising events and social gatherings.
For any further information on the group or on brain tumours, please contact Brain Tumour UK on 0845 4500 386 or visit their website at www.braintumouruk.org.uk