Bowel cancer patient and fundraiser Tim Morgan and founder of The Chris Lucas Trust, Lynn Lucas, were thanked at the October meeting of the ICR's Discovery Club for their phenomenal fundraising efforts to support our research.
The meeting of the Discovery Club – our special group of visionary philanthropic supporters – was held at the Royal Society of Chemistry in Piccadilly.
At the event, Head of Cancer Therapeutics Professor Raj Chopra talked about our work tackling cancers of unmet need, for which there are still few effective treatments, but with the support of donors like Tim and Lynn our researchers are making vital inroads.
Tim and Lynn's support, and those of countless others, is helping us to carry out research into these challenging diseases which would not have been possible otherwise.
Celebrating the work of our supporters
Tim Morgan presented a cheque for £273,000 to support our bowel cancer research after completing the gruelling 'Dartmoor Demon' cycle ride with his team.
Tim and 10 of his family and friends cycled the 'Dartmoor Demon' race, a punishing 90km cycle challenge described as the 'hardest event in the Cycling Weekly Sportive Series',
Their amazing efforts were recognised when they made it to the final of the Just Giving Fundraising Team of the Year award.
And the money raised by Tim is already helping Dr Marco Gerlinger, Team Leader in our Centre for Evolution and Cancer, to understand drug resistance in advanced bowel cancer, to improve outcomes for patients with the disease.
Dr Gerlinger has developed a liquid biopsy test that can identify genetic changes in cancer from blood samples, and used it to track how colorectal cancer cells become resistant to an antibody treatment called cetuximab.
The Discovery Club provides its members with personal access to the science behind our discoveries. Through special events and updates, it is an opportunity to speak directly with the people who are working towards better outcomes for cancer patients and learn more about our research.
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Lynn Lucas, joint founder of The Chris Lucas Trust, has worked tirelessly with her husband Lynn to support our research into rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare childhood cancer which took their son Chris in 2000.
The Chris Lucas Trust has raised over £1 million for research into rhabdomyosarcoma at the ICR, and continue to fundraise through flagship events such as the Great North Bike Ride.
Their support has helped Professor Janet Shipley's lab develop a genetic test to better classify rhabdomyosarcoma patients into low and high risk groups that decide treatment intensity.
In 2017 Lynn received the NHS Hero Award for Fundraiser of the Year for her continued support for the ICR. She was also recognised by Prime Minister Theresa May when she was chosen for a Points of Light Award.
Lara Jukes, Director of Development at the ICR, said: "Tim, Lynn and their supporters are passionate and dedicated fundraisers for the ICR's cancer research, and it was an honour to celebrate their fantastic contributions to our work at our Discovery Club event.
"Finding new ways to tackle hard to treat cancers is a particular goal of ours, but it's a team effort, and without their help it would be so much harder. You are an inspiration to our researchers and through your support we will make the discoveries that defeat cancer."