Charity helps launch pioneering service for children with brain tumours

PUBLISHED: 17:13 12 September 2013 | UPDATED: 17:14 12 September 2013

Staff at Addenbrooke's and representatives of Tom's Trust launch Brainbow

Staff at Addenbrooke's and representatives of Tom's Trust launch Brainbow

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A CHARITY from Crow country has helped launch a pioneering rehabilitation service for children with brain tumours.

Fowlmere-based Tom’s Trust has been instrumental in the setting up of Brainbow, a new service at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge which is the first of its kind in the country.

Brainbow, which was launched on Tuesday, will provide a comprehensive approach to rehabilitation, which will sit alongside standard clinical care for children with brain tumours, something which has never been possible before. This co-ordinated specialist neuro-rehabilitation assessment will include physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and clinical psychology.

Tom’s Trust was set up in memory of Tom Whiteley, who died from a brain tumour in November 2010 at the age of nine. His parents, Andrew and Deborah Whiteley, founded the charity to raise funds to provide clinical psychologists for children with brain tumours. So far it has raised more than £160,000 through various charity events.

Mrs Whiteley, who is one of the charity’s trustees, said: “Everyone at Tom’s Trust has worked tirelessly to achieve this wonderful goal. We are incredibly proud to be part of the charitable partnership Brainbow.

“By coming together we will enable such a difference to be made for children with brain tumours and their families. This is not the end of our work, but the beginning of changing these children’s lives and outcomes.”

Brainbow is the result of close collaboration between Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH), the trust which runs Addenbrooke’s, Tom’s Trust, and two other brain tumour charities; Anna’s Hope and Camille’s Appeal.

The service will be based at Addenbrooke’s, the regional centre for treatment of children with brain and spinal cancers, and has initially received funding for three years.

Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children in the UK. At present over 200 children in the eastern region are receiving treatment for tumours.

Dr Amos Burke, consultant paediatric oncologist at Addenbrooke’s, said: “By launching Brainbow we will be able to provide a more standardised and holistic care package to children with brain tumours in the region. We are very grateful for the support from these three charities and we hope we can develop the service further in the future.”

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