Brain cancer funding to double in tribute to Dame Tessa Jowell

Brain cancer funding to double in tribute to Dame Tessa Jowell

Tessa Jowell in 2015

Monday, May 14, 2018

Research funding for brain cancer is set to double to £40 million in honour of Dame Tessa Jowell, the former Labour cabinet minister who died from the disease on Saturday.

The Government confirmed the increase in funding, which is set to take place over the next five years.

They’ll also roll out a new diagnostic test - the gold standard dye - nationally.

It is currently only available in half of the UK’s brain centres.

The announcement fulfils two key aims set out by Dame Tessa Jowell shortly before her death.

She campaigned extensively for more resources to help combat and ultimately cure brain cancer.

Theresa May and Health Minister Jeremy Hunt have also launched an annual Tessa Jowell global symposium where clinical and scientific experts will meet.

It’s hoped will take place before the end of this year.

Dame Tessa Jowell’s family have welcomed the Government initiatives, with her husband and daughter speaking to the Today programme about their final days together.

Dame Jowell’s husband described how his late wife had never given up hope of finding a cure for the disease, and a vaccine from the DNA of the tumour had been considered but it came too late.

"She said if I can just survive two years at a time or even a year at a time new things will come along that will give us new hope,” he said

"I think that is the message which is coming out now, that with this wonderful initiative from the Government, there will be more impetus into the research that is necessary and people who suffer from this disease in future will have a growing chance to survive."

Dame Jowell’s daughter, Jessie Mills, also remembered her mother’s final days, describing it as an “incredibly peaceful" time surrounded by loved ones.

Also talking to the Today programme, she said: “Just the day before she had her haemorrhage, her and dad were walking down the beloved lane that we have outside our house. She was in the most wonderful spirits, smiling and laughing with dad and just having the most special time.”

"We were with her every single moment. We didn't let her go for the whole of the last couple of days that she was very, very, very ill.

"We literally laid with her, next to her, kissing her, holding her, telling her how much we loved her and it was the honour of our lives to be her family.

“Until the last moment she was the magnificent person, mother that we all know and just adore."