Charlene McEwan

Charlene Friends for University of Glasgow Brain Tumour Research Fund

Fundraising for University Of Glasgow Trust
raised of £50,000 target
by 562 supporters
University Of Glasgow Trust

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RCN SC008303


My name is Charlene McEwan and I am 42 years old. In September 2011 I suffered a massive brain haemorrhage resulting in emergency surgery which revealed the underlying cause to be a highly aggressive, stage 4 cancerous brain tumour called a Glioblastoma in the right frontal lobe of my brain. The amazing neurosurgeons who operated on me at the QEU Hospital in Glasgow were able to remove the tumour however the incurable nature of a Glioblastoma means it will inevitably grow back. The average survival time for a Glioblastoma patient is 12-18 months with only 5% surviving 5 years or more.

On the day of my diagnosis I was thrown into complete turmoil. My husband and I had just celebrated our first wedding anniversary, we had bought our dream home and were planning a family. I had basically gone from having a near perfect life to living in the depths of despair but after a short time digesting my prognosis I decided that I wanted to fight this thing that had so rudely interrupted my life. In October 2011 I started a 6 week intensive course of radiotherapy and chemotherapy through the Beatson West Of Scotland Cancer Centre and in August 2012 I completed a further 8 months of chemotherapy. Things are looking good at the moment and the recent brain scan I had in January 2022 showed all clear. Given my original prognosis I feel beyond blessed.

Through my fight I have realised the importance of raising awareness of how brain cancers can strike suddenly and fatally as I had no symptoms other than one headache however I am absolutely astonished at the lack of funding for research into brain cancers in the United Kingdom where brain tumours receive only 2% of funds allocated to cancer research as a whole. When you consider that brain tumours kill more adults under 40 and more children in the UK than leukaemia or any other cancer, and the fact that unlike many cancers the survival rates for brain tumours have not significantly improved in Britain for over 40 years a figure of 2% for British brain tumour research is woeful to say the very least.

At the moment, options for patients with Glioblastoma recurrence are limited. I would like to think that if my cancer returns there will have been some medical breakthrough that will give me a fighting chance but this is never going to happen unless the funding increases and this for me, my family and others in our position is just devastating.

The Neuro-Oncology Team at The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre headed up by Professor Anthony Chalmers are angels. They are not only highly skilled and professional but they are supportive and sensitive towards their patients and their families and outwardly passionate about what they do. Sadly I can see the frustration in them at the limitations around funding for research and this has inspired me to want to make a difference.

Through the Neuro-Oncology Team at the Beatson I have been kept up to date on research that Professor Chalmers is leading and through this I became aware of the University of Glasgow Brain Tumour Research Fund which has been used to fund some of this research. The overall purpose of the Fund is to support brain tumour research, allowing projects to be kick-started without having to go through the prolonged and unpredictable process of applying for external funding through Cancer Research UK and the Medical Research Council. Sometimes these smaller projects produce valuable findings in themselves but often they generate evidence that research ideas are plausible which increases the chances of the research teams securing larger scale funding.

A small donation can eventually lead to an important research programme that has a real chance of improving outcomes for patients and we are so grateful to everyone who has supported our efforts so far. For anyone who hasn't yet had the chance to donate or take part in an event we would appreciate your support more than you know. Please join us in our campaign and help us raise funds and awareness for such an amazing cause. You might have noticed that your donation will be going via the University of Glasgow Trust but be assured that 100% of your donation will reach the Brain Tumour Research Fund.

I had actually kept the serious nature of my disease secret for a long time but I am dedicated to doing all I possibly can to raise funds for the University of Glasgow Brain Tumour Research Fund and to raising awareness of brain cancers and I realise that sharing my story is vital to do this. I have faith that if they receive enough funding to carry out the work that they want to do then these amazing researchers and clinicians who provide us with the best care possible with the money they currently have will make the breakthrough that will give people like me a chance for a future.

In the meantime . . . . . Never lose hope. Stay Positive. Be Strong. Treasure each and every moment.

Lots of Love . . . . . Charlene xxxxx

About the charity

University Of Glasgow Trust

Verified by JustGiving

RCN SC008303
University of Glasgow Trust Support The Beatson Pebble Appeal, Think Pink Scotland, Paul O’Gorman Leukaemia Research Centre, Brain Tumour Research Fund, Medical & Dental Fund & Small Animal Hospital Fund. The University of Glasgow Trust administers donations on behalf of the University of Glasgow

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