A dad-of-two is urging the public to sign a petition to help fund vital research into brain tumours.

Sam Suriakumar, 35, of Worcester Park, was first diagnosed with a brain tumour after he collapsed with a seizure on the Northern line last year.

He has since been told that his tumour, a glioma, is growing ‘like a cobweb’, making surgery difficult without affecting other parts of his brain.

He is currently waiting for a scan to find out more about his type of tumour and whether he is likely to be given chemotherapy treatment in May.

“When I first heard the words ‘brain tumour’ it felt like life had stopped and I was in a dark tunnel with no light," Sam said.

"I couldn’t speak, hear or understand what was going on. To be honest, I am still trying to digest it and, as terrifying as things are, it will not defeat me.

“My diagnosis came out of the blue in February last year and, suddenly, my life changed.

Sam and his family

Sam and his family

"I couldn’t work, I couldn’t drive and my future was far from certain. It made me realise what was really important to me.

"When I was first told, my biggest fear was that I wouldn’t get time to spend with my wife and our two precious daughters.

"Now, during the coronavirus lockdown, I have all the time in the world and I feel this is a great gift and I am doing my utmost to make the best of it.”

Shortly after his diagnosis, Sam and his family – wife Sindhu, and daughters, Avaana and Arya – fundraised over £8,000 for Brain Tumour Research.

Now, Sam is supporting the charity again by asking people to sign its petition to increase the national investment into brain tumour research to £35 million a year.

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“I knew very little about brain tumours before my diagnosis but I’m keen to raise awareness, particularly of the underfunding of research to understand the disease and find a cure," said Sam.

"I really hope as many people as possible support Brain Tumour Research’s petition; increasing the national spend on brain tumour research will make a big difference towards helping more people survive.”

According to Brain Tumour Research, more children and adults under the age of 40 die of a brain tumour than any other cancer.

The charity reports that a five-year survival rate for breast and prostate is over 70%, leukaemia over 40%, yet for brain tumours it is just 12%

Since national cancer spend records began in 2002, £680 million has been invested in breast cancer, yet only £96 million in brain tumours – a difference of £35 million a year over 17 years, said Brain Tumour Research.

Hugh Adams, spokesman for Brain Tumour Research, said: “Brain tumours still kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet despite promises of increased investment in research from the Government and larger cancer charities, we are still not seeing parity of funding with other cancers such as breast, prostate and leukaemia.

"This is not acceptable and we will continue to push for change until this injustice has been resolved.

“We are grateful to the many people who have already signed our petition and the families who continue to share their heart-breaking stories to help us raise awareness and to drive change.”

The charity is aiming to get 100,000 signatures by March which is national Brain Tumour Awareness Month. So far, more than 70,000 people have pledged their support.

To sign the petition visit here.