Charity to aid research into brain cancer cure receives vital boost from Wandsworth mother


Anita O’Connor’s daughter Elsie died 9 months after being diagnosed with the disease.


By Nathan Blades

A Wandsworth mother has helped raise over £45,000 for a charity to find a cure for a presently fatal cancer.

Anita O’Connor, of Northcote Road, Battersea, teamed up with other mothers Amanda Walker and Liz Chandler as part of the charity Abbie’s Army.

Abbie’s Army is raising money to help research into a possible cure for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG).

DIPG is a tumour that starts in the brain, affecting children almost exclusively. The tumours are inoperable, and chemotherapy is ineffective. As such, the survival rate has been 0% across 30 years of research.

The three mothers all had their daughters succumb to the disease.

Ms Walker, mother of Abbie, said: “As mums, we became aware of each other through treatment.”

Abbie passed away in 2011, only 5 months after being diagnosed with DIPG. Ms O’Connor’s daughter, Elsie Crosthwaite, died only 9 months after being diagnosed.

The brain tumours are, according to the charity website, the biggest cancer killer of UK children under 15.

Mums Against DIPG (or M.A.D.) is a campaign of the charity contributed to by Ms O’Connor that organises fundraising events.

One of the campaign’s recent events was held on Wimbledon Common on April 19, featuring a large fitness event and raising £400.

Elsie’s father, Graham Crosthwaite, ran in the London Marathon on the April 21 and raised £4,300 for the charity.

M.A.D. hopes to raise a total of £100,000 – though according to the fundraising page, it costs £180,000 for a three year research post for the disease.

Donations to the charity are being processed online via Just Giving, a crowdsourcing service.

Unlike other popular crowdsourcing services (such as Kickstarter), donations are sent to the charity that’s being backed as they come in, meaning there is no deadline on when donations are submitted.

Ms Walker said: “I’m hopeful that for M.A.D. going forward, more mums affected by this disease will join us.”

M.A.D’s next challenge is to canoe, bike and climb across Scafell Pike in the Lake District.

The campaign video for the Lakes Challenge can be seen here.

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