A WOMAN from Windsor who died of a brain tumour has been remembered at a research centre.
The family of Melanie Chinnick, of Windsor, who died aged 39 in October 2019, were invited to the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence at Queen Mary University, London, on March 15.
Melanie’s mother Sandra Payne, sister Juliette Wreford and cousin Ben Kelly placed tiles at the centre on the Wall of Hope in her memory.
Melanie was diagnosed with a terminal glioblastoma brain tumour in 2017, following a fall where she bumped her head.
She’d had no symptoms beforehand but no treatment was able to save her life.
In 2018, Juliette and her husband Joel ran the Bristol half marathon to help raise awareness and funds for Brain Tumour Research, attracting donations of close to £2,300.
And in 2019, Melanie took part in Wear A Hat Day, which is held annually at the end of March, Brain Tumour Awareness Month, raising more than £1,250 for the charity.
Juliette, Sandra and Ben were among a group of supporters given the opportunity to tour the labs, led by principal investigator Professor Silvia Marino.
And they got to speak to scientists about their work to find a cure for the disease and specifically GBM tumours, before placing a tile on the Wall of Hope.
Each tile placed on the wall on Wednesday, March 15 represented the £2,740 it costs to fund a day of research.
It also celebrates the fundraising achievements of the family or supporter involved.
Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, but historically just 1 per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this disease.
Juliette, of Bristol, said Melanie’s attitude to her terminal diagnosis was inspirational.
“Her mantra throughout was positive vibes only,” she said.
“They are words I will always associate with Mel as a reminder of her strength, bravery and positivity, even in the darkest times.
“Mel remained positive and determined to fight the disease, but sadly in the end there were no further treatment options and we lost her.”
Juliette added this won’t change without more investment into research to help find better outcomes for brain tumours patients and a cure.
Mel Tiley, community development manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: “We’re really grateful to Melanie’s family for their support and hope they inspire others to fundraise for Brain Tumour Research.
“Melanie’s story reminds us that just 12.5 per cent of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50 per cent across all cancers.
“We cannot allow this desperate situation to continue.
“Brain Tumour Research is determined to change outcomes for brain tumour patients and ultimately find a cure.”