Keisha's brain tumour campaign in memory of her dad

Four years ago today, father, fundraiser and campaigner Ian Meek lost his fight against a brain tumour.

Sunday, 31st July 2016, 11:00 pm

Ian, from Kippax, Leeds, had lived with the tumour for 18 years, and it was cancerous for three of those.

During his illness, he underwent five major operations as well as treatment including radiotherapy, chemotherapy and drug therapy.

Despite all this, the dad-of-three raised a massive £110,000 for Leeds-based charity Brain Tumour Research and Support Across Yorkshire (BTRS) through a series of fundraising feats.

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These included riding 200 miles from Bristol to Bradford in two days and walking the national Three Peaks in 24 hours, all while suffering from cancer.

Now his daughter Keisha is continuing the fundraising, as well as carrying on the campaigning her dad started to raise awareness of brain tumours and the lack of research funding.

She will undertake the York 10k on Sunday for BTRS, in memory of her dad.

Keisha said: “The charity has an amazing group of phD students at St James’s Hospital in Leeds who are currently working hard to find a cure for brain tumours. BTRS needs to raise funds to continue the work and this is where the fundraising will be going from this run.”

In the UK, brain tumours kill more people under 40 and children than any other cancer.

Only 40 per cent of all patients will survive for one year of more after they are diagnosed with a brain tumour, however less than 1 per cent of funding from the Government is allocated for brain tumour research.

“In 2012 alone there were 5,187 deaths from brain tumours, and only one of those deaths was my dad,” Keisha said.

“The prevention rate for brain tumours is 1 per cent in the UK, that figure speaks for itself – this shows more support and funding is needed.”

Before he died, Ian and Keisha visited the Houses of Parliament and heard about how far the UK lagged behind Germany in the speed of diagnosis.

Last year she attended another meeting there with BTRS, along with other charities, MPs, scientists and doctors to discuss how to improve care.

“We all agreed to work together because as a team we feel we can make a bigger difference,” Keisha added.

“Since 1970 we’ve seen the survival rate for leukaemia and breast cancer change due to increased funding and research. This proves that it is possible and that with support we can find a cure and raise the funds we need to find a cure quicker and improve survival rates.”

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