Wildlife art for young patients – supporting Yorkshire’s Brain Tumour charity


A local amateur wildlife photographer has donated four framed prints to Leeds Children’s Hospital.

Elizabeth Russell, a solicitor at Gateley Legal, donated the prints to decorate rooms that provide much needed sanctuary for children and their families on the Paediatric Neurosciences Ward. The prints will help people to reflect, providing a sense of calm in the midst of a busy ward.

Elizabeth was inspired to donate the photos following a period of fundraising that the Leeds office of Gateley Legal undertook to raise money for Yorkshire’s Brain Tumour Charity. More than £7000 was raised by the company and has been spent to help towards funding a recent £100,000 refurbishment of the ward that was completed with the support of local charities, individuals and businesses.

The project has completely transformed the environment for young patients with brain or spinal injuries and neurological conditions. Young patients spend a lot of time on the ward following operations and for rehabilitation so having a lovely, welcoming and bright space is really important. The project included updating both the Quiet Room and Parent’s Room on the ward and Elizabeth’s spectacular photos have made a welcome addition to these vital spaces.

Marie Peacock, CEO at Yorkshire’s Brain Tumour Charity said:

Gateley Legal were a pleasure to work with throughout their dedicated fundraising and have helped to make a real difference for children and their families staying on the ward in the future.

Elizabeth’s photos are absolutely stunning, they make a perfect addition to the rooms.

Leeds Hospitals Charity, the charity of Leeds Teaching Hospitals, worked with supporters and the ward staff to ensure the project could go ahead. Esther Wakeman, CEO said:

Elizabeth’s photos are a lovely addition to the ward that has been completely transformed thanks to generous donations. It’s now a relaxing, calm space for patients and families to use.

Earlier in the month, two Yorkshire-based charities celebrated the first donation being made to a brand new Brain Tumour Tissue Bank in Leeds. Jointly funded by Yorkshire’s Brain Tumour Charity and Oscar’s Paediatric Brain Tumour Charity, the initial donor has consented to donate their brain tumour tissue whilst undergoing brain surgery today.

Led by Biobank Manager Steven Pollock, the Tissue Bank enables improved collaboration locally and nationally, providing state-of-the-art resources to collect, examine and conserve fresh tissue samples to find treatments and ultimately moving us closer to a cure for brain cancer, giving hope to thousands of families experiencing this devastating disease.

Marie Peacock, Chief Executive Officer at Yorkshire’s Brain Tumour Charity said:

It has been no small feat developing and launching the Tissue Bank during the current times and we are grateful to the teams at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and the University of Leeds for making it happen. We are delighted to be a part of this project which will help improve treatments and increase survival for brain tumour patients. It is tremendous to celebrate and thank the first tissue donor today, especially as March is Brain Tumour Awareness Month.

Every week 15 adults and children are diagnosed with a brain tumour in our region. They are the biggest cancer killer of people aged under 40, with prognosis for patients improving little in over 40 years. Research is vital to change these shocking statistics.

Susan Mountain’s daughter, Maci, was diagnosed with DIPG, a childhood brain tumour in August 2017 and died in October that year, at just 13 years old. Since that time, Susan and her loved ones have fundraised tirelessly in Maci’s memory, helping to raise funds to support families, research and the new tissue bank.

Susan told us:

There is no cure for DIPG brain tumours in children and very little funding into research. Could you imagine hearing that if this was your child?

We had so many questions and little hope, we want to change that so no family has to go through what we did. The tissue bank will allow scientists access to children’s tumour tissue, giving hope of finding a breakthrough to thousands of families.

Marie Hughes, CEO of OSCAR’s charity lost her son Oscar to a Medulloblastoma (brain tumour) in May 2014 when he was 9 years old, and her 5 year old son Milo is currently undergoing treatment for a different type of brain tumour.

Marie says:

The only way to find a cure and less devastating treatments is to undertake critical research. The work that Steven and the team are doing locally will create more opportunities for researchers to have greater success in brain tumour investigation. This is an extremely exciting project to get involved with, as the impact that this will have on brain tumour research, not just in Yorkshire, but nationally and globally, is enormous.

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