Gran’s bid for child cancer funds nears Commons debate

Gran launched petition after her three-year-old grandson died from a rare brain cancer.

Gran’s bid for child cancer funds nears Commons debate Email
Fiona Govans lost her three-year-old grandson Logan in 2017.

A petition calling for more research into childhood cancer has passed its 100,000 target — after backing from Celtic stars and Princess Diana’s brother.

Grandmother Fiona Govan, from Dalry, North Ayrshire, launched the petition after her three-year-old grandson Logan died from a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) brain tumour in 2017.

On Thursday, it passed the 100,000 target, which means it will now be considered for debate in the House of Commons.

Fiona told STV News: “It’s just incredible and a bit unreal. Logan wouldn’t ever be forgotten by us and the people who knew and loved him, but it feels like he’s part of something important that’s going to help other kids.

“He is the reason that there is now hopefully going to be positive change.”

Over its first two months, the petition to the UK Government was signed by 70,000 people. But in the past 24 hours another 20,000 backed it, pushing it beyond 103,000.

Celtic captain Scott Brown added his name to the petition. Pic: SNS
Celtic captain Scott Brown added his name to the petition. Pic: SNS

The final push is being credited to social media support from famous backers, including Celtic captain Scott Brown, whose sister died from cancer, and ex-player and cancer survivor John Hartson.

Princess Diana’s brother Earl Spencer tweeted on Thursday that he was the 83,764th person to sign, adding: “It’s beyond tragic how many children die each year from brain tumours. Please sign and get us to the magic 100,000 signatures! Thank you.”

Another prominent supporter is cancer specialist Professor Karol Sikora who told online followers: “I never ask for anything on my posts, but I would really appreciate it if you could sign this.

“It’s a petition to fund research into childhood cancers with the worst survival rates.”

Ms Govan added: “I’m just to grateful to everyone who has signed and backed it – whether it’s people like Earl Spencer and Scott Brown or those with modest number of social media followers. Every signature counts.

“We’re just going to keep doing everything we can to improve research into childhood cancer as treatment for DIPG has not improved for more than 50 years.”

The UK Government petition was also backed by Alison Caplan, from Newton Mearns, East Renfrewshire, after her 17-year-old son Daniel was diagnosed with DIPG.

Daniel Caplan and mum Alison, who has backed the petition.
Daniel Caplan and mum Alison, who has backed the petition.

An interactive map of the UK shows that the family’s East Renfrewshire constituency contains the largest number of signatories.

In a tweet to Professor Sikora, Alison said: “Absolutely incredible! You played a huge part in this.

“Your kindness has played a huge part in raising awareness and helping our children.”