Celebrities back Harrogate school boy’s fundraiser
Rafe & Damian
24 JUNE 2019
Rafe Colman-Chadwick, 13, lost his father Damian Colman to a brain tumour in September 2018. The Harrogate Grammar schoolboy is now hosting a fundraising gala in aid of the charity Brain Tumour Research. The event takes place at the band stand at Harrogate Valley Gardens on 20 July and celebrities have voiced their support.
Damian was 49 when he died of Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a type of brain tumour. Over two years he had two major operations to remove tumours. He was an actor and musician and worked tirelessly on projects to help homeless people regain their dignity and overcome barriers using the power of music and drama.
BAFTA Award-winning actress Miriam Margolyes sent a message to get the community to back Rafe’s gala: “Rafe lost his lovely father to a brain tumour. But he didn’t let grief overwhelm him. He’s doing something to conquer this horrible cancer. Let’s get behind Rafe. Please put money into the fund-raising Gala concert Rafe is arranging. Attaboy!”
Rafe’s mother, Clair Challenor-Chadwick, 45, said: “I’ve spent a decade raising awareness and funds for charities and good causes over the years via my firm Cause UK, but this cause is of course incredibly close to my heart. Rafe and I felt it would be beautiful to host a small charity event in his dad’s memory.”
Screenwriter Russell T Davies, behind hits including Doctor Who and the current BBC smash, Years and Years, is also backing Rafe’s event. His partner of 20 years, Andrew Smith, died of a brain tumour in 2018.
Russell said: “This is a vital project urgently in need of funding and in memory of a splendid man. I wish Rafe and his family all the very best.”
Councillor Stuart Martin MBE, The Mayor of Harrogate District, who will be attending the gala event said, “I am pleased to support Rafe and his fundraising concert, it is great to support young teenagers making a positive difference and raising awareness and funds for Brain Tumour Research.”
Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age. What’s more, they kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet historically just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.
Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centres in the UK; it also campaigns for the Government and the larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours in order to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure. The charity is calling for an annual spend of £35m in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia and is also campaigning for greater repurposing of drugs.
Clair said: “Damian was always brave and fun. Music was a shared passion with his father and Rafe will be playing music his dad loved and we will have entertainers, jugglers and even some Storm Troopers turning up. I hope you can make it!”
Rafe’s fundraising concert is on 20th July, 2pm, at Harrogate Valley Gardens Band Stand