Council backs calls for more brain tumour research funding after death of Shropshire teenager
Shropshire Council has backed a campaign for more government funding for brain tumour research after the sudden death of a 13-year-old girl from Ellesmere.
A motion from Councillor Geoff Elner, who represents the town, received unanimous support at a meeting of the full council, meaning the authority will write to the Government calling for the “shortfall” to be addressed.
Councillor Elner said the matter was “an emotional topic” for him, having been inspired to take up the cause by the family of 13-year-old Ella McCreadie, who he described as a “happy, healthy, popular young teenager”.
Ella died in December last year from what was later found to be an undiagnosed brain tumour, and her parents Sophie Penrose and Alastair McCreadie are now campaigning for more funding into the disease in the hope of sparing other families the same heartache.
Councillor Elner said: “Late last year a young Ellesmerian family were completely devastated when their 13-year-old daughter sadly died from this illness.
“After witnessing how this affected her school friends and the community, I started to carry out some research.
“Following conversations with council colleagues and with the family, I sought advice from the charity Brain Tumour Research, as well as some MPs and our local parliamentary candidate, all of which have been extremely helpful in my research and all offered their ongoing support.”
Councillor Elner said over 88,000 children and young adults in the UK were currently estimated to be living with a brain tumour, with 16,000 people diagnosed every year.
But he said the 12 per cent five-year survival rate following diagnosis was far lower than that for other cancers, such as breast cancer at 70 per cent and leukaemia at 40 per cent, demonstrating how research into those diseases had greatly improved sufferers’ chances.
He added: “Most concerning of all is the lack of awareness, the lack of funding and the lack of research.
“It cannot be acceptable that only one per cent of the national expenditure into cancer research has been allocated to research into the treatment brain tumours.
“I believe it is imperative that increased funding is immediately made available to be spent on a programme of research and development into the cause of brain tumours, to enable clinical trials and treatment to be developed.”
The motion was seconded by Councillor Joyce Barrow, who represents St Oswald.
She said: “I am very pleased to be seconding this because this has touched my life as well.
“Eighteen months ago my brother passed away from a brain tumour.
“At the beginning he was misdiagnosed as having an ear infection.
“In severe pain, he was put on different antibiotics and stronger and stronger painkillers.
“Early and better diagnosis is vital. We need to give everyone as good a chance as possible of survival.
“Investment into early detection, treatment, and research will save lives.”