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The Rudy A Menon Foundation

Vidhu and Somnath Menon set up The Rudy A Menon Foundation to fund research into brain cancers. Their son, Rudy, died from Gliomatosis Cerebri in 2013, on his 26th birthday.

The Menon family has already donated and pledged over £350,000 towards much-needed research into brain tumours in children and young adults. Their support has enabled us to recruit two PhD students, dedicated to improving the outlook for patients with Gliomatosis Cerebri.

The Rudy A Menon Foundation

Gliomatosis Cerebri (GC) is an extraordinary uncommon brain cancer, impossible to remove or treat. It is an aggressive strain of brain cancer that typically affects children, teenagers and young adults. The prognosis for the disease is poor and has remained the same over the past few decades. 

It was Rudy’s compassion and care for others that inspired Vidhu and Somnath to help other young adults with brain cancer. They believe that “research will certainly defeat cancer”. 

Shauna Crampsie’s PhD project, under the supervision of Professor Chris Jones, has been made possible by the foundation. Shauna is utilising cutting-edge advances in technology to look at GC in new and innovative ways. The new approach will focus on analysing GC tumours at the single cell level to look at them in exquisite detail. By doing so we will learn about:

  • The tumour microenvironment – especially the different types of non-cancer cell that make up and support GC tumours
  • How tumour cells and supporting cells interact
  • How we can exploit and disrupt these interactions, and potentially develop new treatments

Shauna’s project is an international, collaborative effort. In addition to working with Professor Chris Jones, she will also benefit from working with Dr Mariella Filbin (Dana-Faber Cancer Institute, Boston) and Dr Mara Vinci (Bambino Gesu Hospital, Rome)

Shauna says:

“Gliomatosis Cerebri is chronically understudied and it is an honour to be working on such a fantastic collaborative project that is uniting labs across the world. I am very proud to be sponsored by the Menon family in order to be able to complete this work, and I hope that this project that will enable us to shed some more light on this horrific disease.” 

From autumn 2023 onwards a second PhD project will build upon the exciting foundations that Shauna has worked tirelessly to establish.

Remembering Rudy Walk

Remembering Rudy WalkEach year since Rudy’s death, the Menon family organise the Remembering Rudy Walk, to celebrate Rudy’s life, and to raise vital funds for our research.

The event takes place in London, Nottingham, and Dubai – to raise funds for research but also awareness of GC.

Around 100 family, friends and supporters, as well as Professor Jones and his team, take part in the annual walk, in memory of Rudy – for the person he was and for the love he spread in his very short, but full, life. 

We are immensely grateful to the Menon family and their supporters for their commitment to helping us in our efforts to find new and kinder cures for young patients with brain cancer.  

If you would like to get involved and support our childhood cancer research, please contact Nicola Shaw in the Development Team, call 020 8722 4227 or email [email protected].

Email Nicola

Watch Nicola's video and learn more about her work with our Family Charity Partners.

You can follow the ICR on Twitter for regular updates on our work.