Calvert Green mum visits Westminster to hear about progress to find a cure for brain tumours

A mother from Calvert Green whose son died of a brain tumour at the age of seven visited Westminster to hear about progress towards finding a cure for the disease.

Figen Rawlinson, whose son Taylan passed away ten months after being diagnosed with a rare incurable and inoperable brain tumour called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG).

Figen Rawlinson pictured overlooking the Houses of Parliament

Figen Rawlinson pictured overlooking the Houses of Parliament

Figen said: "We owe it to Taylan and all the other patients and their families to continue to do what we can in order to press for change.

"We found out the hard way that brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer.

"It is appalling to discover that, historically, just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease whereas cancers such as breast and leukaemia have received more than 6% enabling huge improvements in survival rates and outcomes.

“Finally this area is beginning to get the attention it deserves.

Taylan Rawlinson, who died from a brain tumour, at the age of seven

Taylan Rawlinson, who died from a brain tumour, at the age of seven

"Three years ago an e-petition led to a report by the petitions committee on funding, a Westminster Hall debate and a DoHSC task and finish group and now we have the high-profile Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission (TJBCM) which is taking forward the recommendations of our campaigning work.

“We must do all we can to ensure no parent hears the dreaded words that their child has an incurable brain tumour and that there are no more treatment options available.

"I’m optimistic about the future.”

Figen was attending the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Brain Tumours which was established by Brain Tumour Research and its member charities to champion the cause.

Also in attendance were other families, patients, charity campaigners, scientists and politicians who heard an update from Nicky Huskens, director of TJBCM.

So far the Rawlinson family has raised £300,000 through Taylan’s Project, a fundraising group set up under the umbrella of the Brain Tumour Research charity.

The charity has been at the forefront of raising awareness of brain tumours and funds a network of Centres of Excellence where scientists are focused on improving treatment options for brain tumour patients and ultimately finding a cure.

Padbury resident Sue Farrington Smith MBE, chief executive of Brain Tumour Research said: “We will always remember children like Taylan whose lives were tragically cut short and we are indebted to his family and the many others who continue to share their stories and campaign with us for change.

"Together we will find a cure.”

March is Brain Tumour Awareness Month and culminates in the UK-wide fundraiser Wear A Hat Day which has raised more than a million pounds since the charity was launched ten years ago.

For more information go to www.braintumourresearch.org