MP ‘doing it for Daisy’ in bid for scientific research

Anna and Louis Brooks (centre) with George Freeman MP (right) and James Cartlidge MP (left). ANL-160419-171809001

Anna and Louis Brooks (centre) with George Freeman MP (right) and James Cartlidge MP (left). ANL-160419-171809001

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The story of a seven-year-old girl from Bures who died from a brain tumour was used as evidence by South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge to argue for more brain tumour research.

Mr Cartlidge told Members during the Parliament debate on Monday afternoon that Daisy had been part of a scientific research into brain stem tumours.

Daisy died in November 2014.

After being diagnosed with a brain tumour in May 2014, her parents Louis and Anna Brooks, had found about the research being undertaken by Professor Stephen Gill at Bristol Children’s Hospital.

Daisy undertook pioneering surgery to have a series of catheters fitted to deliver chemotherapy direct to the tumour.

Since Daisy’s death the family, supported by friends and the local community, have been raising funds to continue the research, so far raising £350,000.

The debate was started by Labour MP Helen Jones who told MPs that spending on research specifically into brain tumours was too low.

She said at the current rate of research and expenditure it would take an estimated 100 years for the outcome for brain tumours to be as good as for many other cancers.

Mrs Jones also asked for more to be done by the Government and health bodies to ensure brain tumours were identified at an early stage.

During his speech Mr Cartlidge said: “My point is simple. My view is that I am a parent of four children, the oldest of whom is nine, but I cannot even begin to imagine what it is like to have a child, who is so vulnerable already, in the position that Daisy was in.

“Whenever a child is ill, we feel incredibly powerless, but we are not powerless and nor are the Government.

“We have the power to raise the priority of brain tumour research and I hope the Government do so, in memory of those who have suffered so tragically and so that we can deliver hope to those who, unfortunately, will suffer in the future.”

After the debate the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Life Sciences, George Freeman, spoke with Mr and Mrs Brooks.

Mr Cartlidge said his colleague was very interested in the DIPG research, promising to look into it further and speak to the Professor in Bristol who has been pioneering in the technology.

For more information on Daisy’s story and to find out how you can help with fundraising efforts please visit www.fordaisyanddipg.com/.