A Rugby father who lost his only son to a brain tumour has welcomed what he hopes will be a ‘new era’ for patients and their families.
Peter Realf, whose son Stephen was just 26 when he died nearly three years ago, attended the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Brain Tumours as it was relaunched on Monday following the general election.
Along with the charity Brain Tumour Research, Stephen’s family have been campaigning to address the historic underfunding of research into brain tumours which kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer.
The APPG aims to give a voice to patients and the wider brain tumour community within Westminster and will act to hold the Government to account as the findings of a working group looking at the historic underfunding of research into brain tumours are expected in the early autumn.
The working group was established following a damning House of Commons committee’s report last year, which was prompted by an overwhelming response to a petition launched by Stephen’s family.
Campaigners, including Peter, are hoping that the report will show the Government is now prepared to show fresh commitment to improve outcomes for brain tumour patients.
Peter said: “I am optimistic that, at long last, the voices of families such as mine are being heard louder than ever before and I feel that we are at the dawn of a new era which will see increased levels of awareness about brain tumours and increased funding for research which is vital if we are to improve outcomes for patients.”
While at Westminster on Monday Peter met with Rugby MP Mark Pawsey who signed a pledge to champion the cause of brain tumour patients and to fight for the increase of funding so dearly needed.
Mr Pawsey said: “I would like to see change for those affected by brain tumours in our communities.
“I have pledged to champion the cause of brain tumour patients and fight for the increase in funding so dearly needed.
“It is essential that the UK leads the way in investing in research and I welcome all that is being done by the All Party Parliamentary Group on brain tumours and the wider brain tumour community to ensure sustainable improvements are made.
“I will continue to support the Realf family who have done so much to highlight the issues around brain tumours following the tragic loss of their son Stephen.”
The charity Brain Tumour Research, has provided the secretariat for the APPG since 2005.