Having recently retired from running his construction company, Richard Sullivan was looking forward to travelling with his wife and improving his golf handicap. Until, in December 2021, he received the devastating news that he had a malignant brain tumour.

His outstanding treatment at St George’s Hospital Tooting and the Royal Marsden inspired him to help others with brain tumours by setting up, in association with the established John King Brain Tumour Foundation. Its aim is to raise funds through his family, friends, and business colleagues.

These funds will be channelled into specific projects this year at St George’s Hospital Neurosurgical Department and the Royal Marsden Neuro Oncology Unit. At St George’s, it will support the building of a new roof garden at their neuro ICU unit; at the Royal Marsden, it will fund a research manager to support clinical trials into the treatment of brain tumours.


Friends and contacts of Richard and his family have recently completed a series of challenges that have raised more than £63,000. The challenges have included paddle boarding the 21-mile-long Loch Ness; running 5km for 21 consecutive days; cycling up and down Box Hill 21 times; playing 21 sets of tennis, and cycling to 21 golf courses in Leicestershire. So far, they have nearly 700 supporters.


“When I set up project21forlife I reflected on St Francis of Assisis’ sage advice. ‘Start by doing what is necessary, then do what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible’.

The commitment with which our many friends and family have supported our challenges has meant we’ve achieved more than I ever thought possible. I had not anticipated the enthusiasm with which people have got behind our challenges and will certainly make a positive difference to the lives of many brain tumour patients.”
Richard Sullivan

“The funds raised through Project 21forlife will support our ongoing clinical research efforts which are working to identify much-needed new treatments for patients with brain tumours”

Dr Liam Welsh, Consultant Clinical Oncologist and Head of the Neuro-oncology Unit at Royal Marsden

“The Neuro ICU Roof Garden will quite literally change lives for many patients. The garden will make a huge difference in recovery and will also support families and staff. Especially when privacy is needed for very difficult conversations. A connection with nature so beneficial for spiritual well-being and resilience”

– Henry Marsh CBE, leading British Neurosurgeon, Author, and Patron of the John King Brain Tumour Foundation