Actor and musician Martin Kemp stopped by The Brain Tumour Charity this week to offer hope, encouragement and support to a handful of youngsters feeling the affects of the cancer.
During a visit to the Farnborough-based charity on Tuesday July 15, Mr Kemp spoke of his own personal battle with two life-threatening tumours during the 1990s.
Perhaps best known for his turn as Eastenders baddie Steve Owen, after playing bass for Spandau Ballet, Kemp was in Farnborough to lend his support to the HeadSmart initiative.
Kemp is not the only star to get behind the charity of late after actor Orlando Bloom attended the Grand Sleepover in Brackley, Northamptonshire. The event on July 5 was a joint one between the Farnborough charity, Action Against Cancer and the Silas Pullen Fund. Bloom was seen sporting a fetching Brain Tumour Charity bag.
The HeadSmart campaign is in the running to be named Best Health project in September's National Lottery Awards, which will be decided by a public vote.
HeadSmart is aimed as much at the public as it is healthcare professionals, to raise awareness of the unseen symptoms of brain tumours.
The charity estimates the campaign has already racked up more than 100,000 views on its website, where it says winning the award would give it an 'unprecedented opportunity' to spread the word.
Kemp, 52, had one tumour surgically removed and replaced with a metal plate in part of his skull. The other was treated by tactical radiation.
During his visit to the charity’s Victoria Road base, Kemp warmly shared his own experience with the youngsters and their parents, who rely on the charity’s support.
“I have met some brave young people who are willing to talk about how their lives have been affected by brain tumours,” he said.
"Recognising the signs at an early stage is crucial to getting the expert medical treatment that people need. The more people talk about brain tumours and what to look out for, the more lives will be saved.”
The charity said HeadSmart has already driven down average diagnosis times from 14 to 6.9 weeks, adding: “But the UK is still lagging behind the fastest diagnosing countries in the world.”
Sarah Lindsell, chief executive of The Brain Tumour Charity, added Kemp’s willingness to talk about his condition was of vital importance.
“Raising awareness of brain tumours and their symptoms is what HeadSmart is all about,” she said.
“We were so pleased to have Martin here to support the campaign and to meet young people affected by brain tumours.
“Martin knows first hand what a huge impact brain tumours have, not only on patients themselves, but on their families.
“By sharing his experience and by spreading the message about symptoms, he is helping us to reduce average diagnosis times for young people with brain tumours and to save lives.”
Hollywood actor Bloom, as well as model Kate Moss and adventurer Bear Grylls, all designed and signed postcards, which are being auctioned off in aid of the Grand Sleepover charities.