Sarah Lindsell is Chief Executive of The Brain Tumour Charity, which funds worldwide research into brain tumours as well as offering support to those affected and raising awareness of the disease.
Based in the UK, it was created in 2013 out of a merger between three different charities and has established itself under Sarah’s leadership as a global influencer in the field, simultaneously growing its income from £1.4m to more than £11m.
Its ambitious beneficiary-led strategy, Defeating Brain Tumours, is committed to doubling brain tumour survival and halving the harm caused by the disease.
Sarah has never shied away from tough challenges, taking up her first CEO role in the voluntary sector at the age of just 25 after studying for a degree in social policy and a Master’s in voluntary sector management.
She went on to hold senior positions at Caritas, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and The Challenge Network before becoming CEO of The Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust – one of the three organisations that merged to become The Brain Tumour Charity – in 2011.
As Chief Executive of The Brain Tumour Charity, Sarah has championed the creation of its groundbreaking BRIAN (Brain TumouR Information and Analysis Network), a databank which allows patients to share information about their own experiences as a way of helping others in the community.
From 2013 to 2016, Sarah was on the Board of Trustees of the European Cancer Patient Coalition – Europe’s largest cancer patients’ organisation, which represents 347 associations in 46 EU and non-EU countries.
She has taken a key role in the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission, which was established after the death of the former Labour Cabinet Minister to drive forward improvements in the care and treatment of everyone diagnosed with a brain tumour.
Sarah leads the Mission’s Patient Experience group, working alongside Baroness Jowell’s daughter, Jess Mills, to honour her mother’s legacy.
The Brain Tumour Charity’s goals include improving patients’ access to the best treatment and care, reducing delays to diagnosis and increasing the number of people with a brain tumour who take part in research, including clinical trials.
The Charity has campaigned successfully for the UK-wide introduction of 5-ALA – the so-called ‘pink drink’ - which causes high-grade glioma cells to glow in the dark and has been shown to improve survival by enabling surgeons to remove more tumour tissue than they would otherwise be able to do.
Since the launch of its HeadSmart campaign to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of brain tumours in children and young people, the average time-to-diagnosis for paediatric brain tumours in the UK has fallen from 14 weeks to less than seven.
In 2018 The Brain Tumour Charity was named Charity of the Year by Third Sector, the UK’s foremost membership body for voluntary and not-for-profit organisations.