Luton graduate with inoperable brain tumour says her 'life fell apart in the blink of an eye' after diagnosis
Amani stars in hard-hitting campaign to Stop the Devastation of the disease
A young woman from Luton, who is living with an aggressive brain tumour, is sharing her story in a hard-hitting campaign launched this week by the charity Brain Tumour Research.
Amani Liaquat, 23, stars in the advertisement campaign, Stop the Devastation, which raises awareness of brain tumours and exposes the history of underfunding for research into the
disease. People are encouraged to donate to help find a cure.
Amani, the eldest of three sisters, had graduated with a first class degree in law and was looking forward to taking a Masters in social work, when she collapsed with a seizure on her
22nd birthday in April 2020. Her diagnosis – grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) – is the most common primary malignant brain tumour in adults carrying with it an average prognosis of 12 to 18 months.
Faced with extremely limited treatment options in the UK, Amani and her family set about crowdfunding and, thanks to the generosity of family, friends and their community, quickly
The University of Leicester graduate said: “The location and mutation of my tumour mean it’s inoperable and incurable. I am blessed that with the money raised I can purchase a trial drug
from Germany, which has shown promising results for some with the same mutation as me, H3K27. My life has fallen apart in the blink of an eye. It’s unfair and I am angry that so little
investment has gone into this disease, particularly as it affects so many young people just like me, who should have their whole lives ahead of them.”
Amani added: “I feel very strongly that we need the Government, organisations and charities to put pressure – or better still – to compel the pharmaceutical industry to release trial drugs
on compassionate grounds without cost to the patients or through funding by the NHS.
“I am blessed to have wonderful friends and family, who are doing all they can to support me and they’re praying for the shrinkage of my tumour and easing of my symptoms and that a
cure can be found. We have set up an Instagram page, @Fight4Amani, for anyone who is interested in following my journey.”
The campaign is being launched at the Wimbledon tennis championships and will include outdoor advertising at other prominent sites in London. A video is being screened at a series of outdoor festivals aimed at young people and families. An accompanying social media campaign is asking people to join in using #NoMore.
In sharing her story, Amani is helping to raise awareness of the fact that brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer. Despite this,
historically, just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease. And, tragically, 88% of those diagnosed die within five years.
Brain Tumour Research has worked with the London-based creative agency bandstand to produce the campaign materials which include a 30-second film together with three 15-
second cut-downs for social media. These will be supported by an integrated social campaign titled #NoMore which is encouraging mass participation with people sharing a selfie of their “stop hand”, donating £5 and tagging five friends.
Spokesman for Brain Tumour Research, Hugh Adams, said: “Stop the Devastation lays bare the powerful and painful truth about brain tumours – they are indiscriminate, they can affect
anyone at any age, there is no cure and for many, sadly, there is little or no hope.
“We are extremely grateful to Amani for opening up on camera to star in the campaign. By sharing her heart-breaking story, she is helping us raise awareness and to drive change.
“Brain Tumour Research is determined to make progress by creating awareness of the horrifying statistics, by funding research at its Centres of Excellence and through its continued lobbying of the Government and the larger cancer charities to increase the national spend.”
To donate £5 text NOMORE to 70085. For more information go to www.braintumourresearch.org/stop-the-devastation