Charlotte and Jack Carter
A 23-year-old man with an inoperable brain tumour has toured a research centre at the University of Plymouth to meet world-leading scientists striving to find a cure.
Jack Carter, from Kingsbridge, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in December 2023 after experiencing problems with his left eye. At first, doctors thought he was experiencing palsy in one eye, but a specialist at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth decided to send him for an MRI scan as a precaution.
His mother Charlotte Carter, also from Kingsbridge, said:
“It was a bit of a shock to say the least to find out Jack had a brain tumour. Since then, thankfully, the tumour has remained stable, but because it’s pressing on Jack’s optic nerve and is right by his pituitary gland and carotid artery, surgeons can’t risk removing it.”
To mark the start of Brain Tumour Awareness Month in March, Jack and Charlotte were invited to the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence at the University of Plymouth to learn about research taking place into meningioma – the most common low-grade brain tumour affecting adults – to help patients like Jack in the future.
The University is one of four centres of excellence supported by the charity, and its research focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of low-grade brain tumours.
Jack and Charlotte were among supporters given the opportunity to tour the labs, led by principal investigator Professor Oliver Hanemann, and hear about recent breakthroughs from the Centre which have included an innovative blood test which could be used to diagnose and monitor meningioma brain tumours, and the , which could improve the success of future clinical trials.
Professor Oliver Hanemann and the Brain Tumour Research team
Charlotte added:
“Jack has been amazing, with fantastic support from his lovely girlfriend Lucy, and his father and I are incredibly proud of how he has dealt with the situation. The tumour is not going to go away – there’s nothing we can do. He is continuing to learn to adjust to the changes in his life, including regular scans to monitor the tumour for growth. If that happens, there’s the option of radiotherapy treatment. Nevertheless, he’s totally focused on finding work in film & TV production.”
Coincidentally, long before Jack’s diagnosis, Charlotte has been a trustee of The Misses Barrie Charitable Trust which has been awarding grants since 2009 to Brain Tumour Research. The charity has four Centres of Excellence across the UK working to find a cure, including one at the University of Plymouth.
She said:
“Since suddenly finding myself in the position of mum to a brain tumour patient, I am proud to say The Misses Barrie Charitable Trust, which had already granted more than £12,000 to Brain Tumour Research over the years, has committed to awarding the charity with £7,500 each year for the next three years to fund vital research.”
After touring the lab, Charlotte and Jack placed tiles on the Wall of Hope, recognising the fundraising support granted by the Misses Barrie Charitable Trust, as well as honouring Jack’s diagnosis and life with a brain tumour.

It was a pleasure to welcome Jack and Charlotte as part of the lab tour to mark Brain Tumour Awareness Month.

Among our studies, our team focuses on whether existing drugs could be repurposed for use in meningiomas, and how new drugs may be developed.
Our aim is to do clinical trials and get new treatments out to patients as quickly as possible – and meeting people who could benefit first-hand is hugely impactful. We’re doing all we can, and are grateful to all supporters who continue to make our work possible.

Oliver HanemannOliver Hanemann
Lead for the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence at the University of Plymouth

It was heartening to hear from the scientists about the work being done in their quest to find a cure, which can’t come soon enough.

I hope the grants awarded by the Trust are life-changing and that the amazing work being conducted at the Plymouth Centre of Excellence leads to a cure for Jack.
Charlotte Carter, mother of 23-year-old Jack, who has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour

We’re really grateful to The Misses Barrie Charitable Trust and hope that Charlotte and Jack’s visit to our Centre of Excellence at Plymouth offered a useful insight into all we’re doing to improve treatment options for patients and, ultimately, find a cure.

Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease since records began in 2002. This has to change.
Katrina Jones, head of community fundraising for Brain Tumour Research
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.

Plymouth Institute of Health and Care Research

From basic research discovering the causes of disease, through to evaluating novel ways of delivering care to the most vulnerable people in society, our thriving community conducts adventurous world-leading research.
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