'We had so little hope - we want to change that so no family has to go through what we did'

A mum whose daughter died of a childhood brain tumour has hailed a breakthrough which could bring a cure for brain cancer another step closer.

By Martin Shaw
Monday, 5th April 2021, 9:00 am

Maci Craddock, of Roberttown, was just 13 when she was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), a highly-aggressive tumour found at the base of the brain.

The teenager was diagnosed in August 2017 and died just two months later, leaving her family devastated.

Brain tumours are the biggest killer of people under the age of 40, yet the prognosis for patients has improved little over the last four decades.

Now, however, a pioneering new scheme has been launched which will allow more research to be carried out, raising hopes that a cure can eventually be found.

A new Brain Tumour Tissue Bank will collect samples for scientists to conduct vital research and Maci’s mum, Susan Mountain, welcomed the step forward.

Susan said: “There is no cure for DIPG brain tumours in children and very little funding into research. Could you imagine hearing that if this was your child?

“We had so many questions and little hope. We want to change that so no family has to go through what we did.

“The tissue bank will allow scientists access to children’s tumour tissue, giving hope of finding a breakthrough to thousands of families.”

While receiving treatment Maci was passionate about raising money to support other families and to fund research.

After her death her family has worked tirelessly, raising thousands of pounds in her memory.

The Brain Tumour Tissue Bank in Leeds is jointly funded by Yorkshire’s Brain Tumour Charity and Oscar’s Paediatric Brain Tumour Charity. Donors consent to their brain tumour tissue being collected during surgery.

It provides state-of-the-art resources to collect, examine and conserve fresh tissue samples to find treatments and, ultimately, move closer to finding a cure for brain cancer.

Marie Peacock, chief executive officer at Yorkshire’s Brain Tumour Charity, said: “It has been no small feat developing and launching the Tissue Bank during the current times and we are grateful to the teams at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and the University of Leeds for making it happen.”