Katy parents to meet with health adviser

Meeting: Paula and David Holmes will meet up with Government health adviser Paul Bate
Meeting: Paula and David Holmes will meet up with Government health adviser Paul Bate
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The parents of brain tumour victim Katy Holmes have been invited to meet with the Prime Minister’s health adviser to discuss what more they think the Government could be doing to tackle the disease.

Paula and David Holmes, of Margaret Road, Penwortham, near Preston, wrote a letter to David Cameron earlier this year and were delighted to receive a handwritten reply from him sharing his own pain at losing a child.

Mr Cameron also stated that the argument that Paula and David made about the need to look into the causes of brain tumours was a powerful one and promised to look into it.

The couple have since written back to the Prime Minister to see if he has looked further into the need for research into brain tumours and received a reply telling them that the Government is ploughing £250m into building Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) facilities in Manchester and London to treat up to 1,500 patients every year.

PBT is a very precise form of radiotherapy with fewer side-effects and long term consequences which is particularly important in the treatment of children.

Mr Cameron also told Paula and David that the National Institute for Health Research has spent £2m over the last three years directly on brain cancer research.

Paula, who also has daughters Charley, nine and baby Scarlet said that while she and David are delighted that money is being invested into treatment, they want to see more done into brain tumour research.

As a result, the Prime Minister has invited them to meet with health adviser Paul Bate to discuss the issue.

Paula said: “David and I were disappointed to have still not had our original questions answered about the causes of brain tumours, the inaccurate recording of information and the lack of progress regarding treatment methods.

“To hear that only £2m was spent on the biggest cancer killer of children in the UK was another blow.

“It is fantastic that so much money is being ploughed into PBT but what we don’t understand is if radiotherapy hasn’t worked for so many people, then what are they doing about finding other treatment methods?

“The point we’ve been trying to make is that if we can do research that uncovers the causes of brain tumours then maybe we can find the solution, so shouldn’t money be spent on this kind of research too?

“We are very pleased that the Prime Minister felt our issues were important enough to invite us in to meet with his health adviser. We can ask our questions face-to-face and hopefully get answers to the questions we want.”