SUE FARRINGTON SMITH
A WOMAN who lost her seven-year-old niece to a brain tumour in 2001 has been made an MBE.
Sue Farrington Smith has been awarded the honour for services to brain tumour research and raising awareness.
Sue, 59, from Padbury, co-founded the charity Ali’s Dream with family and friends to raise funds for childhood brain tumour research.
With the support of MP John Bercow she also established the all party parliamentary group on brain tumours in July 2005.
In April 2009, Ali’s Dream and other founding brain tumour charities came together and launched Brain Tumour Research, of which Sue now chief executive.
The charity is now a multi-million-pound organisation and has established four research centres of excellence across the country.
Sue has co-authored three reports into national research funding, produced the Invest In A Cure manifesto and launched the charity’s annual Wear A Hat Day.
She said: “I cried when I heard the news. It is such a great honour.
“It made me realise the enormity of what has been achieved in the last 15 years.
“My passion for this cause is driven by loss. Not a day goes by when I don’t think about Ali [Alison Phelan, her niece].
“Seeing the devastation of her parents Julie and Gary, because they couldn’t save their little girl, drove me to try to make a difference.
“I was so proud and humbled by Julie and Gary that they wanted to start Ali’s Dream.
“There are no words to describe how the loss of a child shatters a family.
“I still feel the pain of losing her and witnessing the continuing pain of my sister and her family makes me feel so helpless, despite every achievement and milestone we reach as a charity.
“With a background in the corporate world, I pledged the rest of my life’s work to finding a cure.
“There are so many people who have been with me and Ali’s family and friends on this journey, including my hugely supportive husband and children.
“I am particularly humbled by the bravery and dedication of Wendy Fulcher, Sandy Saunders and Nigel Boutwood, trustees of Brain Tumour Research.”
Visit www. braintumourresearch. org, www.alisdream. org.uk or www. justgiving.com/braintr for more information.
‘Great honour’: Sue Farrington Smith