Staff from Clarion Housing Group have remembered a colleague lost to a brain tumour by visiting a Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence to place commemorative tiles in his memory.
Clarion Housing Group CEO, Clare Miller, places a tile on the Wall of Hope at Queen Mary University of London Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence lab.
Darel Bryan, from Beckenham, was 33 years old when, in December 2014, he was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) – a highly aggressive type of tumour. Devastatingly, Darel, who worked as a housing officer for Clarion Housing in Bromley in South London, died just 15 months later.
Following his death, Darel’s partner of 12 years, Natalie Overs, and his family set up the Darel Bryan Foundation – a fundraising group under the umbrella of Brain Tumour Research.
To date, staff from Clarion have raised over £150,000 in memory of their much-loved colleague through a number of activities including a ball, quiz nights, dress down days and football tournaments.
On 27 August 2019, a group from Clarion led by Clarion Housing Group chief executive Clare Miller visited Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) to meet researchers and tour the Centre of Excellence lab. The team also placed tiles on the Wall of Hope, where each tile represents the £2,740 it costs for just one day of research into the disease.
Chief Executive of Clarion Housing Group, Clare Miller, said:
“Touring the lab was fascinating but it also opened my eyes to the fact that only 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to brain tumours. Considering it’s the biggest cancer killer in children and adults under the age of 40, this isn’t right. We’re pleased we’ve been able to raise so much for the charity and we’re looking forward to raising even more.
“Darel was a cherished staff member. His death came as a tragic shock to everyone who worked with him, and he is dearly missed in the organisation.
“The Darel Bryan Foundation was overwhelmingly voted by Clarion staff as our Corporate Charity and we are immensely proud of our fundraising achievements.”
Janice Wright, community fundraising manager for Brain Tumour Research in the London region, said:
“We are very grateful to Clarion for their ongoing support and the amazing fundraising they’ve done.
“Darel’s story reminds us that brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age. Clarion has raised an incredible amount for Brain Tumour Research and we’re really pleased representatives from the association have been able to see the research taking place at the Queen Mary University London.”