Brain cancer patient from Bedford ‘honoured’ to be face of charity campaign

Drag queen Eddie Adams will help promote Wear a Hat Day on March 28
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An entertainer from Bedford is appearing on the back of buses and digital display screens as part of a nationwide charity campaign to raise awareness of brain tumours.

Drag queen Eddie Adams, a brain cancer patient who came third in a pilot audition for what was to become the popular reality TV show Ru Paul’s Drag Race back in 2015, is one of four faces of this year’s Wear A Hat Day campaign.

It’s hoped the poster, to feature on 400 buses and more than 100 digital screens throughout the UK until March 4, will encourage registrations to the Brain Tumour Research charity’s flagship fundraiser, held at the end of Brain Tumour Awareness Month.

Eddie Adams with his poster.Eddie Adams with his poster.
Eddie Adams with his poster.

The event, which asks people to don their favourite hats and hold hat-themed events, has raised more than £2 million since being launched 15 years ago and will take place on Thursday, March 28.

Eddie said: “It was an honour to be asked to take part in this campaign in the same year the charity celebrates its 15th anniversary. I hope it helps increase registrations for Wear A Hat Day, which is a fun way to support a really important cause.”

The 35-year-old was given just three to five years to live when he was diagnosed with a grade 3 anaplastic astrocytoma after suffering a seizure in August 2017.

He underwent two surgeries followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Ultimately though, he decided to stop treatment, opting to enjoy a better quality of life for the time he has left.

Eddie said: “The treatments for brain tumours are brutal and with my prognosis being so poor and the fact the drugs I was on could only extend my life by 10%, I decided I’d rather make the most of the precious time I had left. I’m not afraid of dying but I do think the historic underfunding of brain tumour research is scandalous and I am determined to do all I can to help. Campaigns such as Wear A Hat Day are a great opportunity to do that.”

Other faces of the campaign include the charity’s patron, Antiques Roadshow expert Theo Burrell who is living with a glioblastoma (GBM); ambassador Sam Suriakumar who is currently undergoing chemotherapy following progression of his glioma; and nine-year-old Betsy Griffin who is blind as a result of the low-grade optic nerve glioma.

Charlie Allsebrook, community development manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “Wear A Hat Day takes on different themes each year, but to have patient supporters feature in our 2024 campaign is particularly special. Their stories serve as a stark reminder of the indiscriminate nature of brain tumours, which can affect anyone at any time. We’re determined to change this, but it’s only by working together we will be able to improve treatment options for patients and, ultimately, find a cure.

“Anyone can take part in Wear A Hat Day - we just ask that they put on a hat, share a photo on social media using the hashtag #WearAHatDay and make a donation to help find a cure for brain tumours, which kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer.”

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