Brain tumour campaigners helping to fill a gap in government funding for cancer research have topped £121,000 in memory of popular school assistant Judy D’cruz.

Their latest charity evening at the Kushoom Bugh restaurant in St Mary’s Lane, Upminster added more than £1,400 to the Judy D’cruz Fund.

It follows a fundraising evening at the Golden Crane pub in Cranham the week before.

The mother-of-three was well-known to the people of Upminster and Cranham where she had been active in the community and involved with local sports teams.

Two of her three sons played football for Upminster Park Rovers and cricket with Gidea Park & Romford and with Upminster.

There is a memorial plaque to her at Upminster’s Hall Mead School, where she was a special needs assistant and later admin assistant.

Judy was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2012. Initial treatment was successful and The Brain Tumour Charity encouraged her and husband Win, a retired IT manager, to set up the Judy D’cruz Fund to raise money towards research.

But her tumour returned in its deadliest form in 2022. She died in January last year, aged 60.

“We knew Jude would not be with us for much longer,” Win told the Recorder. “Her fund was around £70,000 when she passed away.

“But we vowed to keep her name alive and continue to help find a cure for the disease that took her from us.”

The fund had raised £121,000 by March 27 with Win’s latest two charity evenings.

“We get support from all over the world,” he said. “But it feels special with our local community supporting us to keep Judy’s name alive and raise awareness of this awful disease.”

Research for a brain tumour cure gets only around three per cent of the government’s cancer studies budget, the charity points out.

“That’s what we need to change,” Win vowed. “The treatment hasn’t changed for years and it wasn’t going to work for Jude, which was hard to take in.

“But I’m optimistic that we can make a change.”

Wellwishers can donate at the website.