Actor and musician Martin Kemp has spoken of his personal battle with brain tumours and given hope and encouragement to young people affected by them as part of the Brain Tumour Charity’s HeadSmart campaign.

Watch Martin visit The Brain Tumour Charity below:
 

The nationwide HeadSmart campaign educates healthcare professionals and the public about the symptoms of brain tumours. It has reached more than 14 million people and its website is a vital source of information for people seeking advice, having had over 100,000 views. As a result, average diagnosis time among young people has been cut from 14.4 weeks to 6.9 weeks.

Now the campaign is competing a £2,000 prize at the National Lottery Awards in November, and Eastenders and Spandeau Ballet star Kemp visited the charity's headquarters to offer his support last week.

After undergoing two life-threatening brain tumours operations in the 1990s (one was surgically removed then replaced with a metal plate in part of his skull and the other was treated by tactical radiation), Kemp shared his experiences with young people affected by the illness and their parents.

“I have met some brave young people who are willing to talk about how their lives have been affected by brain tumours. Recognising the signs at an early stage is crucial to getting the expert medical treatment that people need. The more people talk about brain tumours and what to look out for, the more lives will be saved. National Lottery players should be proud that their money is helping projects like HeadSmart do such important work.”

Further reading: 7 Questions on...brain tumours in children

Sarah Lindsell, chief executive of The Brain Tumour Charity, says Martin’s willingness to talk about his condition is key to further spreading awareness of the HeadSmart campaign.

Martin knows first hand what a huge impact brain tumours have, not only on patients themselves but on their families. By sharing his experience and by spreading the message about symptoms, he is helping us to reduce average diagnosis times for young people with brain tumours and to save lives," she said.

"We very much hope the public will help us too, by voting for HeadSmart as the UK’s best Health Project."

To vote go to www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/award - voting closes 23 July.