Two cousins who have raised thousands of pounds for charity, have met researchers working to find a cure for brain tumours.

Joe Burridge, 23, and his cousin Rebecca Callion, 29, have tirelessly worked to raise more than £10,000 for Brain Tumour Research, in support of Joe's dad David Burridge.

David, 55, of Tyson H Burridge Transport and Warehousing Services in Distington, was diagnosed five years ago with a low-grade brain tumour in his frontal lobe.

And since then his family have taken part in various fundraising activities.

The two cousins, from Cockermouth, have just returned from a trip to London to place a tile on a Wall of Hope at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), where the charity Brain Tumour Research funds a research centre.

Each tile represents the £2,740 it costs to fund a day of research and celebrates the fundraising achievements of the family.

Joe, a professional dancer for Celebrity Cruises, talked about his dad's diagnosis.

He said: “Dad’s behaviour changed. He would mix up family members’ names and became obsessed with watching videos about giants walking the earth on YouTube.

"After some resistance, we persuaded him to go to his GP. He was referred for a scan, which revealed a small brain tumour.”

David’s tumour remained stable for four years but devastatingly, in October 2018, an MRI scan showed it had grown and was now a grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most common type of primary malignant brain tumour in adults.

Joe was away at sea when the family received the news. He said: “I knew it had become cancerous but I wasn’t told just how bad dad’s prognosis was until I came home. They didn’t want to worry me while I was away.

"He had surgery to debulk the tumour and then underwent a course of chemotherapy. Sadly, the chemo didn’t shrink the tumour and just made him exhausted.”

David is one of the directors at the Burridge Transport family business, but since his health has rapidly deteriorated, he has given up work and now receives 24-hour care at home.

He is looked after by his wife Julie, who has also put her career at the family business on hold. She is helped overnight by a local care team.

Joe said: “Mum has been amazing and in spite of everything, she and Dad remain really strong and positive but the disease obviously takes its toll. Seeing the i Impact it’s had on our family motivated Rebecca and me to fundraise.

“I’ve organised sponsored dance classes, which raised £1,400 and we’ve plans to hold more fundraising events in future, including a sponsored sky dive!”

As well as the tile placing, Joe and Rebecca attended a lab tour led by Professor Silvia Marino and her team, who are studying GBM tumours – a really aggressive type of brain cancer.

Rebecca, who also works for the family haulage business, said: “The lab tour was a fascinating insight into the research being undertaken at QMUL and it was wonderful to meet Professor Marino and her team. It’s really inspired me and Joe to carry on fundraising to help find a cure.

“In May, my colleague Brenda Gallagher and I galvanised 40 colleagues, along with employees from car dealership Myers and Bowman, to take part in a sponsored walk around Loweswater Lake.

"That event alone raised £3,700 and to be able to see where the money we is going, is really motivational.”

Matthew Price, community fundraising manager at Brain Tumour Research in the North, said: “It’s heart-breaking to hear about David’s story.

“We are so very grateful for the Burridge family’s support and we hope they inspire others to fundraise for Brain Tumour Research.”

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