When Sara and Clifford Bryan lost their son to a brain tumour, they were able to turn their grief around and do something positive.

The parents from Bellingham have helped kickstart a new inquiry into the economic and social impact of the disease that killed their son Darel Bryan.

Sara and Clifford, along with daughter Claudine, travelled to Westminster to submit their evidence on a web forum facilitated by the charity Brain Tumour Research.

The Bryans joined other families, patients, campaigners and charity workers at Westminster on March 6 at the invitation of MP John Bercow, Speaker of the House, who is a patron of the charity.

Darel was diagnosed with multiple aggressive and incurable brain tumours and underwent gruelling radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment, as well as two craniotomies. He passed away in February 2016 aged just 34.

Natalie Overs, Darel’s partner, set up the Darel Bryan Foundation and family members, friends and work colleagues have taken part in a number of events to raise funds for Brain Tumour Research.

She said: “Darel endured six weeks of radiotherapy, 12 months of five different chemotherapies, two surgeries, over five months of hospital stays and every alternative and natural treatment we could lay our hands on, but his battle was never one he was going to win.”

Sara said: “I think it is hard to fully understand the impact a brain tumour diagnosis has on your family unless you’ve been through it.

“For example, Natalie spent days and, even weeks in hospital, both night and day with Darel, while we travelled backwards and forwards to give our son our support.

“The emotional burden is hard, there is the worry about money and disruption to work, as well as so many other things to think of.”

Sue Farrington Smith, chief executive of Brain Tumour Research, said: "Brain tumours have been a neglected form of cancer for decades, killing more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer.

“This inquiry will shine a light on the social and economic impacts of brain tumours adding weight to our arguments and landing a huge urgency to our call for further funding to improve patient outcomes and offer much-needed hope to families.

“Whilst we welcome the funding announcement, the fact that the funds are spread over five years means that brain tumours remain a poor relation to other better-funded cancers.”