Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the development and growth of Yorkshire Cancer Research. Meet the people who have made a big difference by raising money, donating and volunteering.
Thank you from Andy
Dr Andy Furley, a cancer researcher at the University of Sheffield, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2006. He made a full recovery following his prostatectomy, but four years later he was once again diagnosed with cancer – this time with the skin cancer melanoma. It was swiftly operated on and has not returned.
Andy is thankful for the vigilance of his wife Marysia, who spotted the early warning signs of both cancers and encouraged him to see his doctor, but he is also grateful to Yorkshire Cancer Research, which not only funded his own research into childhood brain tumours but also funded one of the surgeons that operated on him when he had prostate cancer.
Andy completed the World Cruising Club’s Atlantic Rally in December 2014 to raise money for the charity, sailing 2700-nautical-miles in 17 days.
He said: “The diagnostics, the pathology and the drugs are made possible and continually enhanced by research which, in turn, is supported by funding agencies and charities like Yorkshire Cancer Research. Research in which, I suppose ironically, I am also involved.
“I am at least twice indebted to the charity. They have a proud 90 year history of funding cancer research, of course aimed at cancer in Yorkshire, but which through its impact on the international research community also furthers diagnosis and treatment of all types of cancer throughout the world.”
Thank you from Jenny
Jenny Moss has spent 25 years raising money for Yorkshire Cancer Research as part of the charity’s Ripon Committee, from collecting pennies in local pubs to organising extravagant balls that raised thousands of pounds.
Since Jenny joined in 1987, the committee has raised more than £400,000, and her amazing achievements were recently recognised when she was invited to Buckingham Palace for a Garden Party with the Queen.
Jenny has more reason than most to support Yorkshire Cancer Research. She’s battled breast cancer three times and her husband Colin died from cancer. Colin had undergone treatment for testicular cancer for three years, but it sadly spread to other parts of his body and he passed away at the age of 50. They had been married for 23 years.
Jenny said: “My experience with cancer really did push me and keep me going when it came to fundraising. You feel that it’s the most important thing you can do.
“When I hear people ask if we will ever find a cure for cancer, I want to tell them that we are finding cures all the time. I would not be here if they hadn’t found some sort of cure. Things have changed so much for the good now, as long as people do something about their symptoms straight away.”
Thank you from Una
Una Macleod, a GP and Professor of Primary Care Medicine at the Hull York Medical School, is investigating the diagnosis and experience of people with cancer throughout the Hull and East Yorkshire area.
In Hull, women aged 35-64 are 25% more likely to die from cancer than women in the rest of England, and men aged 65-74 are 34% more likely to die from cancer than men in the rest of England.
The team are seeking to understand the patients’ experience from noticing a problem to being diagnosed. They are also investigating public views of cancers, the understanding of risk factors and awareness of cancer symptoms.
The researchers are also studying the link between poverty and access to palliative care, and examining referrals to and deaths in hospices.
Una said: “Without funding from Yorkshire Cancer Research, we wouldn’t be able to explore why cancer survival is worse in people from more deprived areas. Their support is vital in improving the understanding of risk factors and awareness of cancer symptoms.
“The aim is to ensure that all people with cancer, whether they are rich or poor, have high quality care. We would like people with cancer to be recognised earlier, and for everyone with advanced cancer to have a full assessment of their needs in order to receive appropriate care in the most appropriate place.”
Thank you from Joyce
Some 21 years ago when it was necessary for me to have a mastectomy because of breast cancer, I was told that for five years I would take a drug called Tamoxifen. A friend of mine who had had a similar experience told me it was a “wonder drug” and would help me through the coming years. It proved to be so as 21 years later I am living a full and active life running half marathons, climbing fells and enjoying my seven grandchildren. I had very few side effects, a very slight weight gain and flushes, which approaching 50 at that time would have happened in any event. Tamoxifen was like a security blanket after the surgery and the chemotherapy, an ongoing medication which was helping enormously. My daughter Zoe was also diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010. After a double mastectomy and a hysterectomy, tamoxifen has been the same to her, giving her the same sense of security. She will take this “wonder drug” for a further five years but she is also living a full and active life, back teaching and enjoying her three beautiful children.
Tamoxifen is a drug to be immensely grateful for, a huge step forward in the treatment of cancer. We must all continue to do whatever we can towards helping to find a cure for this horrid, life destroying disease but in the meantime be so very appreciative of the work which has already been achieved.
Thank you from Jonathan
At 32 Jonathan from Harrogate was diagnosed with eye cancer and had his left eye removed on his 33rd birthday. It was a complete bolt from the blue, he had been training for the British power lifting championships and after experiencing blurred vision was referred to a specialist at Sheffield teaching hospital who confirmed that Jonathan has a tumour growing up through his eye.
Thanks to funding from Yorkshire Cancer Research in the region, Jonathan’s life was made more bearable at such a difficult time. Instead of having to travel all the way to London for treatment on the tumour in his eye, Jonathan was able to receive care in Sheffield, just a short drive from home.
“It made it easier for my family to support me. And having someone to talk to after an appointment means the world – it would be a nightmare without them. I can’t imagine what it would be like having to go to London. At a time when you need to be focussed, worrying about the cost and stress of travel would be too much pressure. How could you deal with it?”
Jonathan believes it is vital to support his local cancer charity – “how many other charities can you give to knowing it will benefit your local area” In 2010 he and three friends ran the New York marathon. Training for the event helped with his mental wellbeing during his recovery giving him something to focus on besides his cancer. He and his friends raised a fantastic 10k for the charity. Read more about Jonathan’s story here.
Thank you from Alex
Alex Kuczera, 44, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2010. He underwent 25 sessions of radiotherapy and took chemotherapy tablets to reduce the size of the tumour before surgeons removed it and created a temporary stoma. Following a final course of chemotherapy Alex was given the all clear and was able to return to work. He’ll have regular scans and colonoscopies to make sure the cancer hasn’t returned.
A message from Dr Dawn Coverley and her Team at York University
A sincere thank you from my myself and my team at York University. The money you have raised for YCR has directly enabled the progress we are making in researching and translating new information about how cancer cells grow. We are looking for those crucial differences between cancer cells and normal cells, and then developing ways to exploit the differences as the foundation for selective tests and treatments.
At the moment we are focused on a change in the Ciz1 gene that can be used to detect people with early stage lung cancer, at a point when existing treatments are most effective. This test is now in clinical and commercial development which means it stands a real chance of being of help to patients in Yorkshire and the rest of the world. We are also looking at other changes in Ciz1 to see if we can develop them into similarly useful tests for other types of cancer.
Keep in touch
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