Blind brain tumour patient from Aylesbury takes on Spinnaker Tower abseil challenge

Shannon Moore, 22, from Long Meadow took up the abseil challenge to raise invaluable funds for brain tumour research.

By Thomas Bamford
Tuesday, 28th May 2019, 12:12 pm
Shannon Moore, 22, from Long Meadow took up the abseil challenge to raise invaluable funds in brain tumour research.
Shannon Moore, 22, from Long Meadow took up the abseil challenge to raise invaluable funds in brain tumour research.

Shannon Moore, now 22 and in her final year studying music and sound technology at the University of Portsmouth, abseiled the 328 feet down the city’s Spinnaker Tower on Bank Holiday Monday, 27 May.

Shannon said: “It was Grandad who inspired me to take on this fundraising challenge. Four years ago, we went along to help out at the charity’s first Spinnaker Tower abseil and someone had to drop out. There was a spare place going and Grandad, although petrified of heights, stepped up to the plate! I promised him I would do the same, but my own fear of heights got the better of me until today!

“I was also inspired by a little girl I know who has the same brain tumour as me. She was diagnosed when she was six months old, and has gone through even more than I have. Every day what she faces makes me want to raise more funds and help to find a cure in the hope that one day, others won’t have to face what the two of us have.

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“Before the abseil, I was terrified. I couldn’t sleep the night before and felt sick at breakfast. I felt very nervous as I was clipped onto the rope. However, I managed to control my nerves and as I abseiled the tower the views were spectacular. I would definitely do it again.

“I hope my efforts will help raise awareness of this awful disease and draw attention to the historic underfunding of research which has gone on for far too long.”

Shannon was diagnosed with a craniopharyngioma brain tumour when she was just nine years old. After enduring emergency surgery resulting in complications which led to several more operations, Shannon battled through gruelling courses of radiotherapy and hormone treatment. She is now certified blind and has a Labrador Retriever guide dog called Indy who helps her remain independent.

Along with her grandmother Lorraine White, also of Aylesbury, Shannon regularly volunteers for the Brain Tumour Research charity at its headquarters in Milton Keynes, as well as helping out at fundraising events, often accompanied also by grandfather Trevor.

Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age.

They kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet historically just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.

Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated Centres of Excellence in the UK including one at the University of Portsmouth; it also campaigns for the Government and the larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours in order to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure.

The charity is calling for an annual spend of £35m in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia.

Paula Rastrick, community fundraising manager for Brain Tumour Research in the Central region, said: “We would like to thank Shannon for her abseil challenge to support Brain Tumour Research and would also like to take this opportunity express our gratitude to her and all her family for continuing to give up so many hours of their time to tirelessly volunteer for the charity.

“Shannon’s story reminds us that less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers; we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue.”