Middleton brain tumour patient free falls 15,000ft
Date published: 09 August 2019
34-year-old Neil Taylor on his 15,000 foot jump
A Middleton man, who was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour in February 2017, has completed a parachute jump at 15,000 feet to raise money for Brain Tumour Research.
Taking place on Saturday 3 August at the Black Knights Parachute Centre in Lancaster, Neil was joined by ten friends, relatives and colleagues for the daredevil challenge, which saw them reach speeds of around 120mph during their 15,000 feet free fall.
Their heroics have so far raised £2,500 for the Brain Tumour Research charity, with more money still being donated.
34-year-old Neil Taylor was diagnosed with a grade 3 astrocytoma in 2017 after suffering seizures in his sleep. Recently married and looking forward to the birth of their first child, the news devastated Neil and his wife, Alex, 26, but spurred them on to raise money to help fund the fight against brain tumours.
In November 2018, alongside his wife, Neil launched the fundraising group ‘Neil’s Appeal’ under the Brain Tumour Research umbrella. The group have previously produced a naked calendar and held charity football tournaments, helping them to exceed their original target of raising £10,000.
The tandem skydive is the latest in a series of fundraising events and challenges Neil has taken on in recent months, having collectively raised over £15,000 to help fund a brain tumour cure.
Neil said: “I never thought jumping out of a plane would be so much fun! I had to get the jump signed off by my oncologist, but I’m delighted to have conquered something I’ve always wanted to do while raising money for a cause close to my heart.
“I can’t thank everyone enough for their support; every donation, no matter how small, is really appreciated.
“Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers. I’m pleased to be able to do my bit to help address this disparity.”
Neil has undergone surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. He had to give up his driving licence for two-and-a-half years but recently got it back after a quarterly scan revealed the tumour is stable. His scans have now been reduced to six-monthly and he continues to feel well.
He added: “The last couple of years have been up and down to say the least. Receiving the brain tumour diagnosis not long after getting married to Alex, who was pregnant with our daughter Annabelle, was shattering. Annabelle turns two later this month, which is obviously an important milestone in more ways than one.
“The treatment has been tough and there are no guarantees for the future, but I am determined to continue fundraising for research into this disease, which is so critically underfunded.”
Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at four dedicated centres in the UK; it also campaigns for the Government and the larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours in order to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure.
The charity is calling for an annual spend of £35 million in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia.
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