Fundraising for the Brain Tumour Research charity is something our Elaine Barrington is no stranger to, although up until recently all her efforts have been firmly rooted on solid ground. That was all to change though when Elaine, looking for a new challenge in her fundraising efforts, agreed to take on not just one, but two daring abseils to help fund research into finding a cure for brain tumours.
Elaine’s first abseil challenge on 5th May saw her go over the edge of the Affinity Water Tower in Harlow. The iconic Essex landmark rises 160 feet with panoramic views over Church Langley: quite a test for a novice abseiler, but one she took in her stride, once she’d got over the edge and could see her family enthusiastically egging her on.
“Going over the edge was really scary. I couldn’t make out my family at first,” Elaine told us. “But immediately they came into view, I felt so much better and really enjoyed the experience!”
Just under two weeks later Elaine, proving her newly found head for heights, took on an even greater challenge: abseiling down the ArcelorMittal Orbit at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. At 262 feet, the Orbit is the UK’s tallest sculpture, providing the highest freefall abseil in the country.
“The views over the Olympic Park were outstanding. What a fantastic way to see London, and the feeling that I was doing something positive to help find a cure for brain tumours made it very special to me.”
Brain tumour research significantly underfunded
Elaine’s efforts were well worth the initial nerves, having raised more than £600, six times her original £100 target. Elaine is extremely grateful to everyone who has donated to her fundraising page, set up to raise awareness of brain tumours and highlight that this type of cancer receives just one per cent of the national cancer research spend, despite the fact it kills more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer.
This is something that the team here at Robert Gerrard was shocked to learn, and we were also very moved by the reason for Elaine’s fundraising involvement.
Elaine’s father, John Barrington, was diagnosed with a low-grade brain tumour at the age of 40. After undergoing radiotherapy, he led a normal life for the next 20 years, simply needing a scan once a year. However, in 2016, his annual scan showed changes in the tumour. A biopsy to investigate caused a big bleed on his brain followed by a stroke. John underwent physiotherapy, learning to walk again and regain his independence. The biopsy revealed the tumour had become high-grade, which meant three-monthly scans and a course of chemotherapy. John is still undergoing the regular scans which naturally are very worrying for Elaine and the rest of the family.
Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated Centres of Excellence around the United Kingdom. It also campaigns for the Government and larger cancer charities to invest more into brain tumour research so that patients can access treatments faster. The charity wants to see an annual spend of £35 million to improve survival rates and patient outcomes so that they fall more in line with other types of cancer.
With this in mind, we have as a team decided to support Brain Tumour Research as the Robert Gerrard charity of choice, and we will be joining Elaine in her fundraising efforts to help back the cause as much as possible. Look out for updates here on our blog and also on our social channels.
Elaine’s Just Giving page can be found at: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/elainebarrington2019.