A BRAIN tumour patient from Crewkerne has helped to raise more than £6,400 to help fund research into the disease.

Claire Messer lives with a meningioma – the most common form of adult primary brain tumour.

The hairstylist and grandma-of-one had been suffering from hearing loss before her diagnosis four years ago.

She had surgery and radiotherapy at the Bristol Royal Infirmary and now requires routine scans.

Despite her ordeal, Claire, with support from her husband Rod and daughters Chloe and Celine, has raised more than £6,400 for the charity Brain Tumour Research by holding a number of fundraising events, including dinner dances and football tournaments.

Her latest fundraiser was a festive ball at Haselbury Mill, Crewkerne.

The evening, which included a three-course meal, a raffle and a performance from four-piece rock band The Toons raised more than £2,200.

Claire, 59, said: “It was amazing to see more than 140 family and friends at the ball.

“It was a stunning venue and a wonderful way to bring everyone together, in festive spirit. We’re proud to have raised thousands of pounds for this vital cause.

“I count myself as one of the lucky ones. My diagnosis was a short, sharp shock that made me think about my own mortality.

“It was the moment I realised I wasn’t indestructible. I’m so grateful to have had such excellent treatment and because of this I’m determined to help others in a similar situation.”

Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable work at dedicated centres in the UK.

Claire added: “It’s been a wonderful year for my family and I’ve learned to appreciate the positives in life.

“Chloe got married in September and is expecting her second child in May. Life has got better since my diagnosis and I hope that by sharing my story I help to raise awareness.”

The charity 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.

Historically, just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to brain tumours

In the UK, 16,000 people each year are diagnosed with a brain tumour

Mel Tiley, community fundraising manager at Brain Tumour Research in the South West, said: “We are very grateful to Claire and her family for raising such a phenomenal amount and we hope they inspire others to fundraise for this vital cause.

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

“What’s more, less than 20 per cent of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50 per cent across all cancers, and we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue.”

Brain Tumour Research 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 and is also campaigning for greater repurposing of drugs.

To donate, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/claire-messer4.