Lion’s charity abseil in daughter’s honour

Derek at the top of the Spinnaker Tower about to start his descent
Derek at the top of the Spinnaker Tower about to start his descent

Derek Reynolds, a member of Billingshurst Lions Club, abseiled down Spinnaker Tower Portsmouth on Sunday May 15 to raise vital funds for the pioneering charity Brain Tumour Research.

The abseil was inspired by Amanda Jeffes, Derek and Helen’s daughter, who passed away with a brain tumour in May 2014. Derek was joined by 32 others each with their own story, who were also raising funds for the charity.

Amanda’s condition was diagnosed in July 2011, when she became very ill while on holiday. She subsequently received three surgeries for recurrent tumours followed with ongoing treatments. She fought for nearly 3 years but sadly died in 2014. She left 2 young children age 8 and 11 and a wonderful husband. The effect on all the family was unimaginable but as a strong family they have given each other the necessary support.

Derek says: “The abseil seemed a challenge that would enable me to raise much needed funding for Brain Tumour Research and in honour of my beautiful daughter who was loved by so many both family and friends.”

Derek, who lives in Rudgwick, said: “A brain tumour diagnosis is a terrible blow to the patient, their family and friends and I am proud to help fund the fight against this disease which takes children from their parents and parents from their children before their time.”

“Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer , yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease. This is unacceptable!

“I felt we had to do something to make a difference. The first thing was to get the Government to listen. With the co-operation of the Charity and many others an on-line petition was started which raised 120,000 signatures.”

The outcome was a debate in Parliament for further funding for Brain Tumour Research which was attended by Derek and his wife Helen.

To date Derek has raised more than £2,600 so far in donations from his contacts but would like to raise further donations.

Following the abseil event the Billingshurst Lions Club have given their support and plan further donations and sponsorship hopefully through many other lions clubs nationwide .

Crispin Zeeman, Head of Marketing for Brain Tumour Research, said: “We are extremely grateful to Derek and are impressed by his commitment to helping our cause. Such support is vital in order to help us to fund the fight as we work to improve the lives of patients and, ultimately, find a cure for brain tumours.”

Brain Tumour Research helps fund an annual £1 million programme of research at its Centre of Excellence at the University of Portsmouth. Further partnerships announced last year with Plymouth University, Queen Mary University of London, and Imperial College pave the way for a £20 million investment in brain tumour research over the next five years.

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For more information visit or call 01908 867200.