Their son Lucas died in August 2015, just 11 weeks after first becoming ill. He was nearly 7-years old. Lucas had a tumour in the midline area of the brain.
Midline tumours currently have limited treatment options and little is known about them. In order to change this, Lucas’ Legacy pledged to raise awareness and funds in Lucas’ name and memory towards research.
They chose to support the work of the ICR’s Professor Chris Jones. His team aims to find the genes that are driving the development of childhood brain tumours and identify ways of translating these findings into new treatments for young patients.
There are currently no specific trials for midline patients in the UK. This funding is allowing Professor Jones to expand his research into midline tumours – a new area for the team.
Supporting ‘Team Lucas’
In January 2016 the Williams family, their friends and supporters started fundraising through a wide range of activities, as a way to help them through the year without Lucas.
Supporters of all ages have joined ‘Team Lucas’ and have walked, boxed, run, climbed, rowed, swum and baked – not forgetting standing in the cold and rain clutching collection buckets! There were marathons, ultra-marathons, triathlons and junior triathlons, coast-to-coast cycling, football and cricket tournaments, local fairs and even a climb to Everest base camp.
Jo and Andrew Williams say: “We want to help make sure that no other child or family has to go through what Lucas went through, and what we are going through every day, without our beautiful, kind, funny, clever boy.”
“We set ourselves a target to raise £50,000 in Lucas’ name as a way to help us get through the year after losing Lucas, our beautiful only child. Raising money is hard, but especially for brain tumour research - many people don't realise how little funding it receives.
“Lucas fought so hard but he deserved so much more - to have better treatments in his brave and courageous fight against this devastating illness. All children deserve better - so that the ones still fighting now and the ones still to fight have a real chance. Thank you so much to the many people who have helped us to do all these things for Lucas and for other children like him.”
Professor Jones says: “We are so humbled to have the support of Lucas’ Legacy. Their generosity, in Lucas’ name and memory, is helping us to learn more about midline tumours and work towards more effective treatments.
“Our heartfelt thanks to everyone involved – their support will help us to improve the outlook for children with these tumours.”
If you would like to get involved and support our childhood cancer research, please contact Nicola Shaw in the Development Team, call 020 8722 4227 or email [email protected].
Watch Nicola's video and learn more about her work with our Family Charity Partners.
You can follow the ICR on Twitter
for regular updates on our work.