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Inspirational young woman smashes target of raising £21K for the ICR before 21st birthday

Amy Elvidge, a determined young woman from Southend-on-Sea has smashed her goal of raising £21,000 for cancer research before her 21st birthday in September 2019.

Watch Amy and her father Mark talk about her experiences throughout her fundraising challenges.

Amy Elvidge set herself the ambitious fundraising challenge after her father was diagnosed and successfully treated for cancer in summer 2018.

Over the course of a year, Amy, who turned 21 in September 2019, managed to raise an incredible £30,000 in support of The Institute of Cancer Research, London, by undertaking a range of challenges and fundraising events.

She was inspired to raise funds for The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) when her father, Mark, was, by chance, diagnosed with cancer in May 2018 after having an MRI for some unrelated symptoms.

Year of fundraising challenges

Mark was successfully treated, and was fit and well enough to join Amy in running the London Marathon in April – a highlight of Amy’s year of fundraising for them both.

After kicking off her fundraising with a skydive in September 2018, Amy also completed challenges including a massive 100K run from London to Brighton and the Three Peaks challenge, which she took on together with colleagues from Lloyd’s of London, where both she and her dad work.

Aside from her physical challenges, Amy also hosted fundraising events such as curry and burger nights, as well as securing corporate sponsorships toward her £21K goal.

Amy’s fundraising is directly supporting the work of researchers at the ICR, who are studying the genetics of cancer and developing smarter, kinder treatments to benefit the lives of people affected by the disease.

'I've absolutely smashed my target'

The ICR has been carrying out world-leading research into the causes of cancer, and how it might be treated or prevented, for more than 100 years. It recently launched the world’s first ‘Darwinian’ drug discovery programme aimed at tackling cancer’s lethal ability to evolve to become resistant to treatment. The programme will be housed in the new Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery, for which the charity is raising funds to finish.

Amy said:

“I’ve loved this past year and raising money for the ICR and the great work that they do, and it feels great to have absolutely smashed my target of raising £21,000 before I turn 21.

“The biggest challenge for me throughout this year was definitely the 100K run – the London Marathon was hard, but London to Brighton was just ridiculous. But the reward at the end and finishing it was the best feeling in the world.

“Completing my challenges is an amazing feeling – although it’s also a bit strange not having anything to train for now!”

If Amy has inspired you to take on a fundraising challenge of your own, there are many sporting activities you can tackle to help support our world-leading cancer research.

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Inspiration to scientists working in the lab

Dr Irene Chong, Clinician Scientist at the ICR, who met Amy and her parents to show them around her lab, said:

“It was an absolute pleasure to meet Amy and her parents at the ICR. Amy's drive and ambition to improve the lives of patients with cancer is an inspiration and really encouraging to those of us working in the laboratory with the same purpose.

“I was moved by Amy’s personal motivation to advance cancer research and extremely impressed by her fundraising achievements. Thank you Amy for your support!”

Lannah Carbonilla, Head of Supporter Engagement at the ICR, said:

“It’s been incredible following Amy’s fundraising efforts over the past year. Her dedication is inspirational, and we’re so grateful to have her support. We wish her a very happy 21st birthday, and hope she gets some well-deserved rest after an amazing achievement.” 

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