St Andrews family thanked at charity anniversary reception

Maisie and MP Stephen Gethins.
Maisie and MP Stephen Gethins.

The family of a St Andrews girl who received treatment for a brain tumour at the age of two have been applauded for their commitment to helping other families.

Vanessa Dury was among guests invited to a reception at Westminster to mark the 10th anniversary of the charity Brain Tumour Research and to celebrate a decade of collaboration and achievement.

Daughter Maisie, now 14-years-old, despite originally being given a survival prognosis of five to 10 years, was initially diagnosed with epilepsy after she began to have seizures, but a brain tumour was revealed in a routine MRI scan.

She underwent surgery which successfully removed the rare central neurocytoma. She has recovered well and is now a pupil at Madras College.

The launch of Brain Tumour Research could not have been as successful without the support of Vanessa who, having previously worked in Westminster, galvanised support from a number of MPs and peers for the launch – and three months later drafted the first statistic report gaining national coverage.

Maisie was at the launch of the charity ten years ago and has continued to help raise awareness of brain tumours and funds for the cause.

Along with Maisie, Vanessa attended the reception held on Tuesday at Speaker’s House.

Vanessa said: “It was a lovely occasion and great to meet up with so many people from the brain tumour community who have played a role in transforming research into brain tumours over the last decade or more.”

Maisie said: “Nobody can tell me what caused my tumour or what might happen in the future. I am lucky to be here to celebrate what the charity has achieved. I know that other children with brain tumours have not survived, so it is important to support the work to help people like me and hope in the future all children with brain tumours can get better.”

Brain Tumour Research chief executive Sue Farrington Smith MBE said: “We want to thank Maisie, Vanessa and their family and each and every one of our supporters and also all of those we are yet to meet who will help us further. We are inspired by all of you. We wouldn’t be here without you. And we are here for you.”

MP Stephen Gethins, who also attended the reception, said: “Brain tumours affect so many people and it is good to see that with Maisie and Vanessa’s help, Brain Tumour Research has taken huge steps towards finding a cure for this devastating disease and supporting those affected.

“Maisie and her family have helped raise funds to help the charity fight back and I was pleased to be able to put down a motion in Parliament recognising all their hard work.”