A Portsmouth man who had testicular cancer and now has a terminal brain tumor is ‘proud’ to ‘do a little bit’ to try and find a cure for a ‘horrible disease’
Cosham-based Dan Braiden, 32, visited Queen Mary University of London’s Center of Excellence in Brain Tumor Research on Tuesday with his parents Michelle and Shane to place a tile on the Wall of Hope in recognition of his fundraising for the charity.
After surviving testicular cancer, Dan, a developer at The Insurance Factory in Portsmouth, was diagnosed 18 months later, in December 2019, with a brain tumor glioblastoma GBM, which has an average survival time of just 12 to 18 months.
He underwent surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy and the tumor remained stable until March 2021, when a scan revealed regrowth and Dan had more chemotherapy.
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In May 2021, while still undergoing treatment, Dan and his father Shane completed an incredible double ascent and descent of Snowdon in 24 hours, raising over £2,500 for Brain Tumor Research.
Dan, Shane and Michelle were among a select group of supporters who had the opportunity to visit the labs run by lead researcher Professor Silvia Marino and talk to scientists about their work to find a cure for the disease and in particular to GBM tumors, before placing a tile on the Wall of Hope.
Each tile placed on the wall represented the £2,740 it costs to fund a day of research and celebrates the achievements of the family or support involved in the fundraising.
Brain tumors kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet historically only 1% of national cancer research spending has been allocated to this devastating disease.
Dan said: ‘It was a horrific blow to hear the tumor had come back and complete shock because I hadn’t felt any symptoms.
“Visiting the Queen Mary Research Center and talking to scientists working to find better outcomes for brain tumor patients and ultimately a cure has been a very interesting and rewarding experience, although their discoveries will be too late for me. I am proud to have done my part to help make a difference for future families affected by this horrible disease.
Mel Tiley, Community Development Manager at Brain Tumor Research, said: “We are truly grateful to Dan and his family for their support and hope they inspire others to fundraise for Brain Tumor Research.
“Dan’s story reminds us that only 12.5% of people diagnosed with a brain tumor survive beyond five years, compared to an average of 50% for all cancers. We cannot allow this desperate situation to continue. Brain tumor research is determined to change outcomes for brain tumor patients and ultimately find a cure.
Brain Tumor Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centers in the UK. He is also campaigning for the government and major cancer charities to invest more in brain tumor research to speed up new treatments for patients and find a cure.
The charity is driving the call for a national annual spend of £35million to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukemia and is also campaigning for greater drug reuse.