Legacy of Framlingham’s Annie Hughes to fund pioneering Brain Tumour Research to find a cure

Annie and David Hughes at their wedding. Picture: FAMILY

Annie and David Hughes at their wedding. Picture: FAMILY - Credit: Archant

The legacy of an inspirational Suffolk woman will live on after thousands of pounds raised in her name was donated to find a cure to the devastating disease that claimed her life.

Annie Hughes in hospital visited by children Noah Lily. Picture: FAMILY

Annie Hughes in hospital visited by children Noah Lily. Picture: FAMILY - Credit: Archant

Annie Hughes, née Dunham, from Framlingham, touched the lives of many in her short life, as she battled to overcome adversity, and remained focussed on helping others even after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour.

Her family set up the charity Annie’s Challenge in her name and together they raised funds for research with Annie playing a central role in the campaign up until her death on March 7, 2016, aged just 30.

Annie’s husband David said she was his “soul-mate” and her sudden death “so heart-breaking”.

“I couldn’t imagine how I was going to go on without her and be both mum and dad to our two very young children – just four and two when Annie passed away,” he added.

Ben and Henry Dunham at the Wall of Hope at Brain Tumour Research'�s Centre of Excellence within Que

Ben and Henry Dunham at the Wall of Hope at Brain Tumour Research'�s Centre of Excellence within Queen Mary University of London. Picture: BRAIN TUMOUR RESEARCH - Credit: Archant


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But the family did go on – raising thousands in Annie’s memory. Efforts included the Kathmandu-it challenge, which saw Annie’s brother Henry Dunham and friend Sam Crimp trek 6,500 miles to Nepal, raising £15,500 for Annie’s Challenge, which became member charity of Brain Tumour Research.

This month, Henry and brother Ben visited Brain Tumour Research’s Centre of Excellence in Queen Mary University of London to see how the donations will be used. The brothers met James Boot, a PhD researcher who Annie’s Challenge will be part-funding at £15,000 per annum over the next three years.

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Ben said: “The options were so limited for Annie, which is why we are working with Brain Tumour Research to help fund desperately needed research.

“We are so grateful to all our supporters for their generous donations. They have enabled Annie’s Challenge to help to fund James’s work at the Research Centre of Excellence within Queen Mary University of London, in memory of Annie, to get closer to a cure. I know it’s too late for Annie, but other families with loved ones diagnosed with brain tumours need to have the comfort that more effective treatments have been identified and ultimately a cure found for this devastating disease.”

Ben and Henry Dunham with James Boot, centre, at the research centre. Picture: BRAIN TUMOUR RESEARCH

Ben and Henry Dunham with James Boot, centre, at the research centre. Picture: BRAIN TUMOUR RESEARCH - Credit: Archant

Henry added: “Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease. This is ridiculous!

“My family and I can’t stand by without doing all we can to change this chronic underfunding. We want Annie’s legacy to be helping find a cure for this deadly disease and we don’t want her name to be forgotten. Life will never be the same without Annie. There will always be a part of our family missing. We won’t rest until there is a cure.”

Annie’s Challenge has raised more than £50,000 in total, of which £45,000 has been committed to Brain Tumour Research, with further donations made to Marie Curie and St Elizabeth’s Hospice in Ipswich,

The family want to raise a further £15,000 to fund the researcher for an extra year.

James Boot, the PhD researcher who Annie’s Challenge will be part-funding at £15,000 per annum over

James Boot, the PhD researcher who Annies Challenge will be part-funding at £15,000 per annum over the next three years. Picture: BRAIN TUMOUR RESEARCH - Credit: Archant

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