A team of scientists from The Institute of Cancer Research, London, are embarking on a series of fundraising challenges in support of two parent-led charities committed to funding the ICR’s research into teenage cancer.
Professor Janet Shipley, Head of the Division of Molecular Pathology at the ICR, and a team of seven colleagues will be climbing Mount Snowdon on 17 October 2015 to raise funds.
The team were inspired to take on the challenge by two charitable trusts – the Chris Lucas Trust and Rob’s ARTTT. The trusts were both founded by families in memory of their sons who died of rare types of cancer. Both trusts are committed to finding a cure for teenage cancer and are funding scientists in Professor Shipley’s laboratory to develop better cancer treatments with fewer side-effects. They have raised more than £1 million towards Professor Shipley’s research.
As a 15-year-old boy, Chris Lucas was diagnosed with stage 4 rhabdomyosarcoma – a rare cancer that usually develops in muscles. The side-effects of his chemotherapy were hard to manage, but he responded to the treatment and despite missing more than a year of schooling, Chris passed his GCSEs and later his driving test. Sadly, Chris relapsed, and three years after his initial diagnosis, he died.
Rob’s ARTTT (A Rare Teenage Tumour Trust) was set up by Rob Holland, who was diagnosed with desmoplastic small round cell tumour (DSRCT) when he was also aged 15. DSRCT is so rare that only a handful of cases are diagnosed in the UK each year. The aim of Rob’s ARTTT is to raise awareness of DSRCT and to fund research to help save lives.
Professor Shipley is very excited about the challenge. She said: “My team and I want to show our immense appreciation to two dedicated children and teenager charities that have tirelessly raised funds for our research over several years. The support provided by the Chris Lucas Trust and Rob’s ARTTT has been so important to my research here at the ICR.
“We are delighted to raise funds for these charities in the name of the ICR by hiking Snowdon on the first day of our challenge. We are slightly less delighted – but still committed – to be sliding down a jaw-dropping mountainside zip-wire on day two of our challenge. We would like to beat our target of raising £1,350 and would be very grateful for any additional support to help achieve this.”
All proceeds from the Mount Snowdon challenge will support the ICR in the name of the Chris Lucas Trust and Rob's ARTTT, and will be used directly by Professor Shipley's team in their research. To make a donation please visit the team’s Just Giving page.