Southend Pier’s two electric trains will be lit up pink on Friday 31 March in support of Brain Tumour Research.
The national awareness day is a time of reflection for an illness that needs a higher profile and affects many younger people. The electric trains, which were introduced last year, are fitted with controllable LED lights which help to create a changing ambience, and this will be the first time this function is used.
Maggie Stannard, who grew up in Southend, is helping to continue the legacy of her granddaughter, Amani Liaquat, who was aged just 22 when she was diagnosed with a brain tumour. After six weeks of radiotherapy her tumour had grown, and she was told that the NHS had no further treatment for her. Sadly, Amani’s fight ended in February 2022, but Maggie and her family are continuing Amani’s FIGHT4HOPE campaign.
Maggie said: “Amani was such an inspiration to our family and everyone who knew her. Even in her darkest days she could find the strength to continue her fight to raise awareness and help other sufferers she met, many through Instagram.”
Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer.
Amani’s story is not uncommon with brain tumours remaining the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40. Unlike most cancers, brain cancer incidences are rising, yet no new treatments have been brought forward and the five-year survival rate for patients is still just 12%. Research is vital and they rely entirely on funds raised by their supporters to help them in their mission to build a network of experts in sustainable research at UK Centres of Excellence.
Cllr Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for environment, culture and tourism, said: “No one can fail to be touched by Amani’s story and the efforts of her family to continue her awareness campaign.
“Our city supports many such causes and you may have seen the lights at the Mayor’s Porters residence and the Civic Centre lit a different colour, or the City Beach fountains and columns lit up to support various campaigns. But this is the first time we will have changed the colour of the LED lights on our electric pier trains to support such an important cause and a special person like Amani. I truly hope many people will consider how they can help support Brain Tumour Research.”
You can find out more about Amani on YouTube by searching for her ‘FIGHT4AMANI’ channel, where you can view Amani’s podcasts and videos and if you would like to make a donation to Brain Tumour Research to help Amani’s Fight4Hope, visit her JustGiving page.