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Celebrities shine a light with our candles!

A Buckinghamshire businesswoman handmade charity candles have been lit by celebrities such as American record producer Nile Rodgers and English pop bands McFly and Scouting For Girls as part of a campaign to raise awareness of brain tumour research.

Carly Parkins, owner and founder of Carly’s Candle Company, an online business that

operates out of her home in Blakelands, Milton Keynes, created 100 bespoke candles for

Shine A Light, an awareness campaign created by Brain Tumour Research which took

place on Friday (1 March) at the start of Brain Tumour Awareness Month (BTAM).

The campaign called on those affected by brain tumours to help raise vital awareness of the

devastating disease by lighting a candle and sharing a photo on social media using the

hashtag #ShineALight.

Around half of the candles hand-poured and gifted by Carly were sent to celebrities who

have been affected by brain tumours.

In addition to singers such as Alfie Boe, Sharleen Spiteri and Suzi Quatro, this included

Bridgeton actress Adjoa Andoh, Netflix star Craig Russell, Chelsea Footballer Ben Chilwell,

comedian Miles Jupp and Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth champion Victoria Pendleton as well as TV personalities like Charlotte Crosby and Kady McDermott.

Posting a video on Twitter of him lighting a candle, legendary musician and producer Nile

Rodgers said: Join us all in shining a light across the world for Brain Tumour Awareness

Month and Brain Tumour Research.”

Actor Craig Russell, who played Marc Antony in Netflix’s Queen Cleopatra and was

diagnosed with a low-grade meningioma in February last year, also posted a video.

He appealed to his Instagram and Twitter followers to ‘join us in lighting a candle to

remember all of those who have lost their lives to brain tumours, to those who are currently

undergoing some sort of brain tumour treatment and to those who have lost someone to a

brain tumour’.

He added: “Despite the fact that one in three of us will know someone affected by a brain

tumour, just 1% of all cancer research funding will go towards finding out more about brain

tumours, and we can change this. This time last year, I had a brain tumour removed, but I’m

one of the lucky ones, and hopefully, with your help, there’ll be lots of lucky ones.”

The rest of the candles were sent to key supporters of the Milton Keynes-based charity who

have a meaningful presence on social media.

Among these were the four faces of this year’s Wear A Hat Day campaign, the charity’s

flagship fundraiser which has raised more than £2 million since being established in 2010

and takes place towards the end of BTAM, this year on Thursday 28 March.

Carly said: “My dad died of lung cancer in 2022 and although I know that’s not brain cancer, it does mean I know the heartache of waiting for test results only to be told there’s nothing that can be done.

“I know what it is to lose a loved one and I understand the pain and helplessness felt by

many brain tumour families, which is why I was so keen to get involved in this campaign. It

was amazing to see how many celebrities leant their support to it, but I guess that shows just how indiscriminate the disease is.”

Charlie Allsebrook, community development manager for Brain Tumour Research, said:

“Carly’s candles looked and smelt amazing; it was great to see them being lit up across

social media for Shine A Light. Her generosity and support were very much appreciated.

Brain tumours remain the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under the age of 40 and raising awareness of this devastating disease and the need for increased investment in

research is key to driving change. We’re really grateful to everyone who helped make this

awareness campaign a success. Together we will find a cure.”

Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centres in the UK. It also

campaigns for the Government and larger cancer charities to invest more in research into

brain tumours in order to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure.

The charity is the driving force behind the call for a national annual spend of £35 million in

order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as

breast cancer and leukaemia.

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