Charlie Boutwood, who suffered a brain tumour as a child, represented local charity Charlie’s Challenge at the Speaker’s House on March 4 for the launch of a ground-breaking funding partnership with three new Centres of Excellence.
Charlie’s Challenge was set up by dad Nigel in Eastbourne in 1993 when Charlie, then aged 20 months, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour. Having had an emergency eight hour operation which was only able to remove three-quarters of the tumour, he endured a testing year of intense chemotherapy followed by six weeks of radiotherapy which meant a general anaesthetic every day.
Against the odds he has made a remarkable recovery and is now enjoying life to the full, which in itself is a great inspiration to help find a cure.
The charity, now based in Chiddingly, is currently contributing to the funding of Brain Tumour Research’s first Centre of Excellence at the University of Portsmouth. Its biggest fund raising event, The Charlie’s Challenge Ball, is held biannually at the Grand Hotel and last time it raised £39,000 for research into children’s brain tumours. Charlie attended the reception held at Speaker’s House with his father, Nigel Boutwood and Philip Davies, founding Trustees of Charlie’s Challenge.
Nigel said, “For so long, this disease has been the ‘Cinderella cancer’. This planned investment brings fresh hope that more effective treatments and ultimately a cure will be found. And soon.”