Single mum with brain cancer who says it’s ‘too late’ for her calls for urgent government funding

A 42-year-old single mum who says it’s “too late” for her after she was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer is urging people to sign a charity petition for more research funding.

Emma Postance, who lived in Clapham Common for ten years before moving to Baughurst in Hampshire, was diagnosed with a glioblastoma (GBM) in October 2022.

Her brain tumour is the latest in a list of medical conditions including surgery for an ovarian tumour in 2019.

Having exhausted the NHS standard of care currently available to brain cancer patients, Ms Postance said she has been “forced” to fund her own private treatment in Germany, raising more than £60,000.

She said: “I’ve been angry and frustrated that treatment in the UK is so limited. 

“This is because the Government hasn’t prioritised the research funding into brain tumours like they promised.”

Ms Postance having her radiotherapy mask fitted in December 2022 (Picture: Brain Tumour Research)

Since her diagnosis, Ms Postance said she has had to think about the future of her two-year-old daughter, Alice.

She said: “All I could picture was my then one-year-old daughter who was likely to become an orphan by the time she started school.

“The following weekend I sobbed with my brother Andrew and his wife Jessica and asked if they’d bring up Alice for me and they both immediately agreed. 

“I want nothing more than to watch my daughter grow up but it’s too late for me.”

Ms Postance at the playground with her daughter Alice (Picture: Brain Tumour Research)

According to the charity Brain Tumour Research, 12 per cent of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 54 per cent across all cancers, but only one per cent of the national spend on cancer research is allocated to brain tumours.

Ms Postance is now campaigning alongside the Brain Tumour Research to help reach 100,000 signatures on its petition to increase research funding, in the hope of prompting a parliamentary debate.

The charity is calling on the Government to ring-fence £110million of current and new funding to kick-start an increase in the national investment in brain tumour research to £35million a year by 2028.

Emma said: “I shouldn’t have to advocate for myself, let alone travel overseas to find something that may work.”

Mel Tiley, community development manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: “We are grateful to Emma for supporting our petition and helping to raise awareness. 

“Her story is deeply sad and equally shocking. For too long Governments have put brain tumours on the ‘too difficult to think about’ pile.”

 To sign and share the petition before it closes at the end of October, go to

A spokesman from the Department of Health and Social Care said: “Brain cancer can be a devastating disease – which is why we’ve allocated £40million for research in this area, on top of £1billion a year for wider health research.

“We’ve invested in every suitable research application made and the funding will continue to be available for further studies to develop new treatments and therapies for brain tumours.

“We are also looking at how new technology can help provide the best possible treatments for patients and the government recently announced a £2million investment in research to better understand and treat those cancers with lower survival rates.”

Pictured top: Alice and Ms Postance in July, scan of Ms Postance’s brain tumour (Picture: Brain Tumour Research)

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