A former Penzance nurse who was forced to give up her career after being diagnosed with a brain tumour has travelled to Westminster to meet her MP and hear how future research funding might be affected by Brexit.
Heather Taylor-Nicholson, attended the cross-party parliamentary group (APPG), which is chaired by West Cornwall MP Derek Thomas. The APPG champions the cause of brain tumours, which kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer.
The APPG was exploring the challenges and opportunities for the brain tumour community posed by Brexit and discussed the safeguards it believes require urgent attention as the UK leaves the European Union.
The APPG is speaking out to ensure that brain tumour researchers and patients continue to benefit from a relationship with the EU that does not hinder scientific progress or access to drugs and treatments.
Mr Thomas said: “A number of key safeguards were discussed including ensuring that funds for research are maintained, ensuring that the UK continues to attract the most talented research scientists and health professionals and ensuring that our patients continue to benefit from EU-wide clinical trials and are able to access new brain tumour drugs.
“This is such an important issue for people up and down the country, including in West Cornwall, as there are around 60,000 people living with a brain tumour in the UK.
“It’s vital that the APPG represents the legitimate concerns of clinicians and researchers, who are working so hard to develop new treatments for these patients and I was very glad that Heather was able to come to Westminster to see what efforts are being made to ensure that those living with brain tumours in the UK do not fall behind those in other European countries in terms of the research going into the cancer and their access to new brain tumour drugs.”
Having been diagnosed with a meningioma, a low-grade brain tumour, six years ago, Heather can no longer drive and suffers from debilitating falls, seizures, fatigue, depression and pain.
She said: “It is vital that we continue to lobby the government and keep up pressure on the larger cancer charities to ensure this cause is given the attention and the funding it deserves.
“Brain tumours are indiscriminate and can affect anyone at any age therefore we must do all we can to make sure research funding, access to clinical trials and new drugs are not hindered as we prepare to leave the EU.”
If you would like to support Brain Tumour Research, you can sign up as an activist at: https://goo.gl/otPNrm