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About us

Astro Brain Tumour Fund was founded in April 2001 in order to focus purely on low-grade brain tumours, and in particular:

From small beginnings…

Astro Brian Tumour Fund was founded by Katie Sheen, whose Sister's Husband Paul Chamberlain was diagnosed with a low-grade astrocytoma in December 2000 at age 30.  Shocked to discover that there was no low-grade glioma (LGG) research in the UK at the time, Katie was determined to raise money and encourage more LGG research, whilst offering hope, information and support to other families living under the same pressures. Sadly, Paul passed away on 7th March 2006, after a truly inspiring life.

Our name

"Astro Brain Tumour Fund" was suggested by Paul, who thought it ironic that a brain cell as beautiful as an astrocyte could cause so many problems when it became an astrocytoma, the tumour he was diagnosed with. "Astro" means star, and the name was chosen to reflect what he and the rest of our family hoped Astro Brain Tumour Fund would become - a light in the darkness for those similarly diagnosed.

Achievements

Thanks to the incredible efforts of everyone who has raised money under the Astro Brain Tumour Fund banner, we have funded eight medical research projects into low-grade gliomas since our foundation, covering both adult and paediatric types, and have also supported a number of qualitative research initiatives. We also send regular donations to support the Brain Tumour Research Low-Grade Brain Tumour Centre of Excellence at the University of Plymouth, where Professor Oliver Hanemann leads a number of studies related to low-grade gliomas.

We openly welcome researchers to contact the low-grade brain tumour community through Astro Brain Tumour Fund, and are happy to advertise opportunities for patients, carers, friends and families with direct experience of this tumour type to help change the future for the better.

Astro Brain Tumour Fund is a founder member of the International Brain Tumour Alliance (the IBTA), formed in May 2005 to improve links between Brain Tumour charities, patients, carers, and health professionals throughout the World. Via the IBTA and other Cancer forums, we actively seek to improve public awareness of the specific challenges faced by people living with low-grade brain tumours, and to encourage the international exchange of information about the possible causes, management and treatment of this type of brain tumour.

The Team

In December 2018 the founder of Astro Brain Tumour Fund, Katie Sheen, took the difficult decision to retire from the charity alongside her mother, secretary Christine Forecast, in order to allow a new generation of families to step up and take Astro Brain Tumour Fund on into the future. Retiring at the same time was Martin Segal, who had been working alongside Katie since 2001, initially in hope and later in memory of his brother Raymond and wife Stacey.

Present Trustees Mary Burton, Treasurer, Linda Rickford, Support Group Moderator, Robbie Burton and Angela Scrutton, together with new trustees Kathleen Ferry and Teresa Jordan look forward to a bright and hopeful future carrying on the invaluable work of the charity.  Mary has been a trustee since Astro Brain Tumour Fund was registered with the Charity Commission in 2009.  Together with husband Robbie, she is very passionate about the cause and determined to carry on with vital fundraising and administering the charity on a daily basis.  Linda, as well as fundraising, is support co-ordinator and moderates the popular closed Facebook page in which brain tumour patients, their friends and family offer support and share their experiences with each other.  Angela regularly attends All Party Parliamentary Group meetings at Westminster. 

Brain Tumour ResearchAstro Brain Tumour Fund is a member charity of Brain Tumour Research, a group of independent UK charities working together to raise money for brain tumour research and support projects across the UK, and to lobby Parliament for increased support for the brain tumour cause.

To read about our Brain Tumour Research partner charities please click here. Together we provide a wide range of information, support and research initiatives for tumours of all grades - find out if there is somebody in your local area offering support services close to your home, or raising money for our common cause, to improve the lives of everyone affected by brain tumours.