Local entertainer and campaigner “honoured” to become face of Brain Tumour Research campaign

Eddie Adams with his Wear A Hat Day poster. Image: Brain Tumour Research
Eddie Adams with his Wear A Hat Day poster. Image: Brain Tumour Research

A Bedford entertainer and campaigner has said he is “honoured” to be the face of Brain Tumour Awareness Month for Brain Tumour Research.

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Image: Malchev/Shutterstock

Drag queen Eddie Adams, a brain tumour patient from the town came third in a pilot audition for what was to become the popular reality TV show Ru Paul’s Drag Race back in 2015.

Now, he is one of the four faces of this year’s Wear A Hat Day campaign which will feature on 400 buses and more than 100 digital screens throughout the UK until 4 March, encouraging registrations to the event.

Wear a Hat Day is Brain Tumour Research charity’s flagship fundraiser, held at the end of Brain Tumour Awareness Month on Thursday 28 March.

The event, which asks people to don their favourite hats, hold hat-themed events and make donations to help find a cure for brain tumours, has raised more than £2 million since being launched 15 years ago.

Five years

Eddie, who has already featured in ad campaigns for Brain Tumour Research and is a popular and well-known Bedfordian, says he hopes being part of the campaign will help.

“It was an honour to be asked to take part in this campaign in the same year the charity celebrates its 15th anniversary,” he said. “I hope it helps increase registrations for Wear A Hat Day, which is a fun way to support a really important cause.”

Eddie knows all too well the impact a brain tumour can have on someone and their loved ones. He was diagnosed with a grade 3 anaplastic astrocytoma after suffering a seizure in August 2017.

He was given just three to five years to live and underwent two surgeries, the last of which left him with permanent hair loss and a misshapen skull, followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Ultimately though, he decided to stop treatment, opting to enjoy a better quality of life for the time he has left.

“The treatments for brain tumours are brutal and with my prognosis being so poor and the fact the drugs I was on could only extend my life by 10%, I decided I’d rather make the most of the precious time I had left,” said Eddie.

“I’m not afraid of dying but I do think the historic underfunding of brain tumour research is scandalous and I am determined to do all I can to help turn that situation around.

“Campaigns such as Wear A Hat Day are a great opportunity for me to do that.”

Wear a hat

Other faces of the campaign include the charity’s patron, Antiques Roadshow expert Theo Burrell who is living with glioblastoma; its supporter ambassador Sam Suriakumar, who is undergoing chemotherapy following a progression of his glioma; and nine-year-old Betsy Griffin, who is blind as a result of the low-grade optic nerve glioma she was diagnosed with at the age of two.

Charlie Allsebrook, community development manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “Wear A Hat Day takes on different themes each year, but to have patient supporters feature in our 2024 campaign is particularly special.

“Their stories serve as a stark reminder of the indiscriminate nature of brain tumours, which can affect anyone at any time. We’re determined to change this, but it’s only by working together we will be able to improve treatment options for patients and, ultimately, find a cure.

“Anyone can take part in Wear A Hat Day, be it with friends or family, at home, work or in school. For those who are unable to host a hat-themed event.

“We just ask that they put on a hat, share a photo on social media using the hashtag #WearAHatDay and make a donation to help find a cure for brain tumours, which kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer.”

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 to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure.

The charity says they’re the driving force behind the call for a national annual spend of £35 million to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia.

For more information on Wear A Hat Day, visit wearahatday.org.

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