Businesses, schools and individuals across Bedfordshire put on their hats on Friday, March 29, to support the Brain Tumour Research charity.
Pauline Tombs, from Luton, donned a hat on Wear A Hat Day, for the eighth year in a row and posted a photo of herself wearing a hat on Facebook every day in March to raise awareness, she raised over £600 for the charity.
She said: “It was devastating losing John just four months after being diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour.
“Neither surgery nor chemotherapy were an option and although he did have six weeks of radiotherapy it didn’t bring about any shrinkage of the tumour.
“When John passed away, I thought brain tumours were rare, but now I seem to hear about more and more people being diagnosed.
“We desperately need to find a cure for this cruel disease, which is why I am doing my best to help make a difference.
“It’s shocking that brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet, historically, just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.
“Wear A Hat Day is a fun way of raising funds for a serious cause and a great opportunity to raise awareness, while helping to improve outcomes for brain tumour patients.”
Jane Barltrop of Harlington, who set up the Fluffy Cloud and Co Fundraising Group under the umbrella of Brain Tumour Research, after losing her husband Pete to a brain tumour, raised over £950 at her coffee morning, helped by her daughters Alice and Emma.
Woodland Middle School Academy in Flitwick supported Wear A Hat Day again and sold hat pin badges, raising over £600 for the charity.
The school was inspired by teacher Philip New who was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2014, aged 38, and by former pupil Lucy Green, who lost her battle with an incurable brain tumour in April 2017, aged 12.
Staff at West Street GP surgery in Dunstable also donned hats to support the charity.
Cheryl Blanchard, who works at the surgery, said: “We have a number of patients who have had or are currently being treated for brain tumours and also my husband David Blanchard died from a brain tumour in 2010 after fighting it for five years.”
Ruth Halsey, a primary school teacher in Luton, said: “My dad was diagnosed with a brain tumour in December 2009 and died less than three weeks later. He was 76.
“Wear A Hat Day always falls around my birthday, so it’s a good thing to support with cakes for the staff and badges to buy.”
Funds raised will develop the charity’s network of world-class brain tumour research centres in the UK where scientists are focused on improving outcomes for patients and, ultimately, finding a cure.
It is the UK’s premier brain tumour awareness event and has raised over a million pounds since the charity was launched ten years ago.