Press release: childhood cancer scientists abseil to raise vital funds

28 February 2014

 Local childhood cancer scientists abseil down the Spinnaker Tower to raise vital funds

A team of eight local scientists will abseil down the Spinnaker Tower this weekend in aid of Children with Cancer UK, one of the charities that fund their research.

The team is based at the University of Portsmouth, headed up by Professor Geoff Pilkington and are due to complete the abseil alongside 21-year-old leukaemia survivor, Charlotte Hutchinson from Surrey.


The scientists are Katie Stephenson, Kathleen Keatley, Mikaella Vouri, Cara Volvona, Emily Pinkstone, Helen Filmore, Rebecca Mather and Sophie Briggs.

Children with Cancer UK awarded Professor Pilkington and his team at the University of Portsmouth a grant of nearly £200,000 for a new research project. The team is currently developing a new approach to the treatment of medulloblastoma, the most common malignant brain tumour of childhood. Although 70 per cent of patients can be cured, the aggressive treatments leave many survivors with significant mental and physical disabilities.

A total of 25 abseilers will descend from a dizzying 94 meters on Saturday, all hoping to raise funds for Children with Cancer UK, the leading national charity dedicated to the fight against childhood cancer through research into the causes, prevention and treatment of childhood cancer.

Charlotte Hutchinson was 13 when she was diagnosed with leukaemia. In one day she went from being a normal sporty teenager having a routine blood test, to being taken by ambulance, blue lights flashing, for platelet and blood transfusions. Charlotte was treated at the Royal MarsdenHospital and never gave up hope.

Now aged 21 and at university, Charlotte leads an active life although she was diagnosed with Avascular Necrosis (AVN), a bone condition, as a result of the steroids she took during treatment, which has resulted in more pain and operations.

Children with Cancer UK funds groundbreaking, life-saving studies, including the development of a pioneering technique for assessing relapse risk in children with the most common form of leukaemia, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). This technique is now used by the NHS as part of the standard treatment for children with ALL and is expected to take the survival rate past 90%.

As well as funding life-saving research and treatment, the charity also funds welfare projects including hospice care and family accommodationclose to hospitals and raises awareness of childhood cancer to protect morechildren and improve the lives of young cancer patients now, and for the future.

To find out more or make a donation, please go to www.childrenwithcancer.org.uk or call 020 7404 0808

Ends

For more information, please contact: Mark Hooley, Communications Manager
Email: mark.hooley@childrenwithcancer.org.uk Tel: 020 7404 0808

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