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Charity Origins

Yorkshire's Brain Tumour Charity started life as Andrea's Gift.

Registered as Yorkshire's first brain tumour charity in 2003, it developed a patient support network and invested in research at Leeds Institute of Cancer and Pathology. 

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Our journey from Andrea's Gift to Yorkshire's Brain Tumour Charity

We began life in 2003 as Andrea's Gift, inspired by Andrea Key, who was told in October 2001 that she had an aggressive brain tumour and 12 months to live.

On 16 May 2002, Andrea died as a result of her tumour, but she left a gift; a brain tumour charity in Yorkshire that provided support for patients and families in the hope that a cure could be found.

In 2011 Andrea's Gift became BTRS - Brain Tumour Research and Support across Yorkshire. Although Andrea's Gift changed its name, its values remained the same. We have since developed into the leading brain tumour charity in Yorkshire with a valuable patient support network and significant investments made in research at Leeds Institute of Cancer and Pathology.

In Spring 2017 we took over the day-to-day running of Ellie's Fund Brain Tumour Trust. Ellie's Fund was set up in memory of 14-year-old Ellie who lost her fight against her brain tumour in 2010. Ellie's Fund raised a staggering £286,000 before it became part of YBTC. Now an official YBTC fund - Ellie's Fund, we provide financial help to families in Yorkshire who have a child undergoing brain tumour treatment.

In March 2020, we changed our name to Yorkshire's Brain Tumour Charity (also known as YBTC) to reflect our impact across the entire Yorkshire region.

On 31st August 2020, after 3 successful years, the charity Will's Way merged with YBTC. The merge united the two Yorkshire-based charities together, creating an even stronger force to grow support across our area.

In 2024 we celebrated our 21st anniversary with a schedule of 21 different events, all across Yorkshire.

About Andrea Key

Andrea, like all who succumb to a brain tumour, was more than just a name. When she lost her fight with that tumour – a highly malignant grade 4 glioblastoma – she was the mother of two teenage children. She had a job that took her around the world and a life that made every moment count – swimming, dancing, water skiing, fell walking.

Andrea’s love was for life, and she was fiercely independent with it. Then, the tumour hit. The independent woman had to be cared for and her quality of life diminished as the disease progressed. During her last Christmas, in 2001, the fits began and she was diagnosed epileptic. Family and friends cared for her 24/7, but by now they feared the worst. They watched helplessly as the disease took control of her body and her life. Her personality, though, was never eclipsed and her dignity, bravery and strength were and remain an inspiration to so many.

Ultimately, the tumour took away Andrea’s life in May 2002. It is in her name, and for the honour and hope of so many in the future, that YBTC is taking on the battle direct – we owe this much to everyone fighting brain tumours in Yorkshire today and tomorrow.

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