Daughter’s tribute to Sunderland academic who died from a brain tumour

Katy Atkinson and Greg Baldwin
Katy Atkinson and Greg Baldwin
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A WEARSIDE lecturer was remembered at the launch of a national brain tumour facility.

The Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence was opened in London and the family of Dr Collin Gill, a former lecturer at the University of Sunderland, was there to see it.

Fundraiser Katy Atkinson pictured with her dad Dr Collin Gill.

Fundraiser Katy Atkinson pictured with her dad Dr Collin Gill.

Dr Gill was just 62 when he died from a brain tumour and his daughter, Katy Atkinson, set herself a year-long target to raise £10,000 towards the centre to mark the 10th anniversary of her dad’s death.

Katy, 43, was among family members, carers, patients, scientists, clinicians and charity workers who gathered for the launch of a ground-breaking partnership between charity Brain Tumour Research and Queen Mary University of London, in collaboration with the Institute of Neurology.

Katy said: “My dad was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) tumour 10 years ago at the age of 62. We lost him eight weeks later. A decade later, you still feel cheated.

“He never got to enjoy the retirement he had planned, never got to meet his granddaughter.

“As a senior lecturer in materials science at Sunderland University, the world of science and research was particularly important to him. I wanted to do something special to mark the years since we lost him.

“I’ve had lots of help from friends and the community with events such as music and ladies’ nights, bike rides and coffee mornings.

“The new research centre brings hope for 16,000 people diagnosed each year. This disease is the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40.”

The launch event was hosted by Brain Tumour Research Patron, John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons.