The family of Alison Phelan have taken their campaign for investment into finding a cure and improving treatments for the devastating disease that killed her to Westminster.

Alison passed away from a brain tumour in 2001, just three weeks before her eighth birthday.

Colin Hinton, Alison’s grandfather from Stanmore , and her uncle Chris Hinton were among families, carers, scientists, charities and politicians who joined the national charity Brain Tumour Research in the House of Commons on Wednesday March 9.

They urged MPs to reverse the “unacceptable” level of investment into finding a cure for the cancer and improving treatments for the 16,000 people diagnosed each year.

Since their daughter passed away with a brain stem glioma, her parents, who also live in Stanmore, set up Ali’s Dream along with extended family and friends to fund research into childhood brain tumours.

To date, the charity has raised in excess of £900,000 in its mission to find better treatments and ultimately a cure.

READ MORE: How a roller coaster saved the life of girl with brain tumour

Commons debate due

Alison was among those remembered at a reception held at Speaker’s House, within the Palace of Westminster, by kind permission of patron of Brain Tumour Research the Rt Hon John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons.

The event was held to acknowledge the contribution made by activists across the UK who shared and signed an online petition calling for more investment. With more than 120,000 people signing, the funding issue will be scheduled for a House of Commons debate.

Pictured: Alison's grandfather, Colin Hinton, her uncle, Chris Hinton and her auntie Sue Farrington Smith, with Harrow East MP, Bob Blackman
Alison's grandfather Colin Hinton, her uncle Chris Hinton and auntie Sue Farrington Smith with Harrow East MP Bob Blackman

Julie Phelan, Alison’s mother, said: “I was very sorry to have to miss this event and pleased to have been able to contribute to the Petitions Committee web thread.

“It makes me angry that there is such a disparity between the numbers of children with brain tumours and the level of funding.

“It is almost 15 years since we lost Ali, yet parents are still faced with no real choice in treatment options that will make a difference."

'At this rate it will take 100 years to find a cure'

She added: “That’s why Ali’s Dream is joining with Brain Tumour Research today to push for change.

“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.

“This is unacceptable. At the current rate of spend it will take 100 years to find a cure.”

Brain Tumour Research is galvanising people to lobby their MPs to urge them to attend the debate, the exact date of which is yet to be announced, and to campaign for change by signing up at the Brain Tumour Research website .

The chief executive of Brain Tumour Research, Sue Farrington Smith, Ali’s auntie and Julie’s sister, said: “Many thousands of families continue to be shocked by the lack of treatments available and clinicians continue to deliver a poor prognosis, causing untold distress to patients and their loved ones.

“We owe it to my niece Alison Phelan and all of those lost to this dreadful disease to do all we can to bring about change and are asking people to urge their MPs to take part in this very important debate.”