Brain tumour survivor raises £63,000 to help future patients
Project21forlife has raised an incredible £63,000 for the John King Brain Tumour Foundation for St George’s Hospital and The Royal Marsden.
Having recently retired from running his construction company, Richard Sullivan was looking forward to travelling with his wife and improving his golf handicap. Until, in December 2021, he received the devastating news that he had a malignant brain tumour.
His outstanding treatment for his operation to remove the brain tumour at St George’s Hospital in Tooting and the Royal Marsden inspired him to help others with brain tumours by setting up Project21forlife, in association with the established John King Brain Tumour Foundation. Its aim is to raise funds through his family, friends and business colleagues.
“When I set up project21forlife I reflected on St Francis of Assisi’s sage advice: ‘start by doing what is necessary, then do what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible’.
“The commitment with which our many friends and family have supported our challenges has meant we’ve achieved for more than I ever thought possible. I had not anticipated the enthusiasm with which people have got behind our challenges. The funds we have raised will certainly make a positive difference to the lives of many brain tumour patients.”
Friends and family of Sullivan raised the funds by doing a plethora of activites including paddle boarding the 21-mile-long Loch Ness, playing 21 sets of tennis, and cycling to 21 golf courses in Leicestershire. So far they have garnered nearly 700 supporters.
These funds will be channelled into specific projects this year at St George’s Hospital Neurosurgical Department and the Royal Marsden Neuro Oncology Unit.
At St George’s, it will support the building of a new roof garden at the neuro Intensive Care Unit.
At the Royal Marsden, it will fund a research manager to support clinical trials into the treatment of brain tumours.
Henry Marsh CBE, leading British Neurosurgeon formerly at St George’s, Author and Patron of the John King Brain Tumour Foundation, shared:
“The Neuro ICU Roof Garden will quite literally change lives for many patients. The garden will make a huge difference to recovery and will also support families and staff, especially when privacy is needed for very difficult conversations. A connection with nature is so beneficial for spiritual wellbeing and resilience.”
Dr Liam Welsh, Consultant Clinical Oncologist and Head of the Neuro-oncology Unit at Royal Marsden, shared:
“The funds raised through Project 21forlife will support our ongoing clinical research efforts which are working to identify much needed new treatments for patients with brain tumours.”
Notes to editors
The John King Brain Tumour Foundation
The John King Brain Tumour Foundation supports the neurosurgery department at the Atkinson Morley Unit at St George’s Hospital, London. The Foundation was set up in memory of John King, who sadly passed away in 2016 after an incredibly brave and dignified fight against his illness. John was a much-loved chef with an international reputation and the Foundation is a lasting legacy for such a wonderful man.
Over the past five years, the Foundation has raised funds for vital neurosurgical equipment for both adult and paediatric neurosurgery at St George’s, leading to significant improvements in surgical outcomes. We also maintain the McKissock Ward Roof Garden adjacent to the neurosurgical wards, which was commissioned by our Patron and world-renowned neurosurgeon Henry Marsh CBE. It is a haven where patients and their families can spend time in a calming, natural environment, helping them on the road to recovery.
Our next project is to create a “Forest in the Sky”: a roof garden adjacent to the Neuro ICU Unit that will be a restful space for critical care patients, carers and loved ones. Such a peaceful and natural environment also helps stimulate patients’ senses, speeding up their rehabilitation.
Given the need to transport patients on ventilators with monitoring equipment it is vital that the space is safe and accessible, so we need to raise £400,000 to make it happen. We are working closely with the award winning Garden Club London who will design and create our “Forest in the Sky”.
Contact – Alison Houghton at email@example.com or 07931 316278