Brothers attend launch in Taylan’s memory

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Two boys who lost their big brother to a brain tumour were at the unveiling of a new research centre of excellence into the disease.

Kaya and Altay Rawlinson, of Calvert Green, put up tiles on a Wall of Hope at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) in memory of their brother, Taylan, who died in 2009 at the age of seven.

Kaya and Altay were there with their parents Figen and Andy, who founded the fundraising group Taylan’s Project.

With members of Padbury-based charities Brain Tumour Research and Ali’s Dream, they were among the patients, family members and carers, scientists, clinicians and charity workers who gathered for the launch of a groundbreaking new partnership between Brain Tumour Research and QMUL in collaboration with the UCL Institute of Neurology.

The new centre will bring fresh hope to the 16,000 people per year diagnosed with a brain tumour and marks a significant step in the charity’s mission to establish seven Research Centres of Excellence with funding of £7 million per year.

The event was hosted by Brain Tumour Research patron and MP for Buckingham, John Bercow, and attended by EastEnders and Coronation Street actor Ian Reddington, who is also a patron of the charity.

Since setting up Taylan’s Project in memory of their son, who passed away just 10 months after being diagnosed with a brain tumour, Figen and Andy Rawlinson’s fundraising efforts have seen about £200,000 already invested into research into the disease.

Mrs Rawlinson placed six tiles on the Wall of Hope, each of them sponsoring a day of research in her son’s memory – costing £2,740.

She said: “Visiting Queen Mary, meeting the scientists and being given a tour round the labs was anamazing experience and hugely reassuring to know that Taylan’s legacy and our fundraising to date have played their 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.

“Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of our children today and yet the research is still only receiving one per cent of the national spend on cancer.

“This is just wrong.

“How many more children do we have to lose to this devastating disease before we start attracting the level of funding needed to see a cure within the next 100


Earlier this year, Brain Tumour Research announced partnerships with two further universities – Plymouth University and Imperial College in London – both of which will also be officially launched in coming months.

Set up by Padbury resident Sue Farrington Smith, who lost her neice Alison Phelan to the disease just before her eighth birthday, Brain Tumour Research already helps fund – through corporate and public fundraising – an annual £1 million programme of research at its first Centre of Excellence in the University of Portsmouth.

The relationship with QMUL, and the new partnerships with Plymouth University and Imperial College in London, willpave the way for a £20 million investment in brain tumour research over the next five years.

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