Grahame Morris MP spoke of the need for funding for childhood cancer research in this afternoon’s Westminster Hall Debate on an e-petition relating to research into childhood cancers.
He focused on the need for Government collaboration with smaller charities, and research into and funding for less common cancers.
The Bradley Lowery Foundation was established in August 2017, after six-year-old Bradley Lowery lost his fight to Stage 4 High Risk Neuroblastoma, a rare and aggressive form of childhood cancer.
In 2013, his mum, Gemma, started a fundraising campaign to raise funds to get Bradley treatment in the USA, which was not available in the UK.
The Foundation supports research into neuroblastoma and childhood cancers, is developing plans to support a £600,000 holiday home in Scarborough, and runs a support line for the families of children with cancer in the North East.
The Bradley Lowery Foundation have given £200,000 into Neuroblastoma research and have just pledged another £15,000 into Sarcoma research. They collaborate with other Research Charities to ensure more funding can be put into the right places.
Neuroblastoma has a 60-70% chance of relapse, and DIPG, a type of brainstem cancer, has a 0% survival rate – usually death occurs 9 months after diagnosis.
The Bradley Lowery Foundation wrote to the Chancellor in around June of this year, and are still awaiting a response.
In the letter they expressed their willingness to set up a meeting with the Chancellor, regarding funding for childhood cancer research, and perhaps secure some support with match-funding from the Government.
The Foundation maintains that, whilst the most common and curable cancers rightly receive a lot of funding, the more rare and harder to treat cancers get little funding, and the funding they do receive is from smaller charities and organisations which may have been set up as a legacy from families who have lost children to a particularly rare cancer.
The Easington MP urged Minister Jo Churchill to engage with smaller charities and organisations that fund this vital research.
Mr Morris concluded, “If Government could pledge even a fraction of the funding that has been allocated for Covid into childhood cancer research, we could no doubt find better, safer treatments a lot faster.”