Press Information: Children with Cancer UK celebrates 25 years of saving lives

11 January 2013

Friday 11th January 2013

Press Information: Children with Cancer UK celebrates 25 years of saving lives

On 12th January 1988 Diana, Princess of Wales, travelled to Mill Hill Secondary School in North London to inaugurate a small memorial charity that she had helped to set up, after Eddie and Marion O’Gorman had lost two children to cancer within nine months of each other.  

Throughout 2013, national children’s charity Children with Cancer UK is celebrating 25 years of funding remarkable medical research and treatment.  However, despite significant advances in the fight against the most common form of childhood cancer, leukaemia, tragically, this is not true for all forms of childhood cancer.

Eddie O’Gorman, co-founder and Chairman of Children with Cancer UK said “26 years ago, just before he died, my son made my family promise to help other children with cancer.  It is thanks to the generosity of our supporters that we have been able to accomplish so much already, but still there is so much to do in the fight for children’s lives. ”

The charity will launch its anniversary celebrations with a special reception at the House of Lords on Tuesday 15th January.  The reception – to be attended by children with cancer and their families, researchers, fundraisers, MPs and Peers – will celebrate the work of the charity over the past 25 years, look back on its many achievements and forward to advances in beating childhood cancer.

What started as a small memorial charity in 1988 has evolved into a major force in paediatric oncology, raising over £150 million pounds for the research and treatment of childhood cancer.

The charity has funded groundbreaking, life-saving studies, including the Minimal Residual Disease (MRD) study, a pioneering technique that is now used by the NHS for all children with leukaemia.  It is hoped that further research in this area funded by Children with Cancer UK will take childhood leukaemia survival rates past 90%.

Cancer is the biggest child-killer disease in the UK.  More than 3,300 children and young people are diagnosed with cancer in the UK every year and the incidence is increasing.  Not so long ago, a diagnosis of childhood leukaemia was a virtual death sentence. Today, thanks to pioneering research funded by charities including Children with Cancer UK, over 80% of children with leukaemia survive.

There are more than 50 types of childhood cancer and whilst survival rates for the most common form of childhood cancer, leukaemia, have increased dramatically over the past 50 years, for some rare types of cancer survival rates remain at zero.  Some of the children who do survive may experience serious side effects, which can persist for months or years after treatment and could be permanent.

Caroline Blakely, CEO of Children with Cancer UK said “It’s important at this time to celebrate our success to date, thank everyone who has donated or helped us in some way, but also look to the future. The only way to beat this disease is through continued research into the causes, prevention and treatment of childhood cancer. Our commitment is as strong today as it was 25 years ago… and we will not rest until every young life can be saved.”

As well as funding life-saving research, the charity also funds welfare projects including hospice care and family accommodation close to hospitals and raises awareness of childhood cancer to protect more children and improve the lives of young cancer patients today and for future generations.

To help Children with Cancer UK raise essential funds to continue the fight against childhood cancer, visit www.childrenwithcancer.org.uk to make a donation or find out how to get involved.

Ends

Notes to Editors

  • Children with Cancer UK is the leading national charity dedicated to the fight against childhood cancer through research and remains both focused and determined to eradicate all childhood cancers.

  • As well as funding life-saving research and treatment, the charity also funds welfare projects including hospice care and family accommodation close to hospitals and raises awareness of childhood cancer to protect more children and improve the lives of young cancer patients.

  • For donations please visit www.childrenwithcancer.org.uk or call 020 7404 0808

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