Skip to main content

itv Meridian: Charity set up by Wokingham woman who lost son to a brain tumour raises £725,000 for research

10th March 2023

Source itv-x.

When five-year-old Ollie Young died from an incurable brain tumour, his mother Sarah Simpson set up a charity in his name.

Now 11 years on, the Ollie Young Foundation has raised nearly three quarters of a million pounds to help fund research and help support families.

Ollie was a cheeky and much loved little boy who enjoyed school and life to the full.

He was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour called a glioblastoma, for which there is no treatment or cure.

Ollie’s mother Sarah Simpson said: “From the day he told us he felt dizzy, ten days later he was in a wheelchair and not able to walk.

“That’s when we got the diagnosis that he had a brain tumour and we got told he had two weeks to live.

“It was all very quick, all very sudden, we didn’t know what was going on. He was a strong-willed lad and he held on for 12 weeks – until the day before his 6th birthday.”

After her son died, Sarah set up the Ollie Young Foundation to raise money for research into childhood brain tumours.

A team of volunteers have been working hard ever since raising money.


To date, they’ve raised over £725,000 through running stalls, fun days and different sponsored events, as well as working in partnerships with businesses.

Now, the foundation has announced it is funding three years of paediatric brain tumour research at the Institute of Cancer Research in London.

The money – £174,000 – will enable scientists to continue working on vital data analysis and drug screening for another three years.

Professor Chris Jones from the Institute of Cancer Research says the money means a dedicated researcher can work in the lab, analysing data and looking at potential drugs that might fight cancer cells.

He added: “We are fortunate to have worked with families like Ollie’s for some time and it’s hugely motivating to my lab to work with these families.

“It really does spur us on to work even harder in the lab, to eventually find a cure for these terrible types of brain tumours.”

Sarah says their ultimate mission would be to find a cure or preventative treatment against paediatric brain tumours.

Insisting they’ll carry on fundraising in Ollie’s name to help others in the future.