Leave a legacy gift in your Will
Gifts in Wills are saving lives right now
Neve was only 2 years old when her parents learned she had leukaemia on Christmas Eve 2007. Neve’s Dad Ian explains:
Our world came crashing down. We should have been at home with our children, getting ready for Christmas Day, opening presents, and it was just a nightmare. There were lots of turning points up and down because she was in intensive care four times. She didn't speak for a good couple of months because of how poorly she was.
The treatment that she had was pretty new at the time, a stem cell transplant. We thank everybody, because without Cancer Research UK, she wouldn't be here now. She was so, so poorly, on several occasions we nearly lost her. Now she's absolutely fantastic, she's starting secondary school…she's absolutely amazing.
I think it's so worthwhile for people to leave something to Cancer Research UK in their Will because you'll be leaving a gift, the gift of life, really. If it wasn't for kind, generous people leaving gifts in their Wills, we wouldn't have Neve with us today.
Our research has helped revolutionise stem cell transplants, making this life-saving treatment gentler on leukaemia patients like Neve. In the 1970s two-fifths of children with cancer survived. Today, more than 4 in 5 are cured, but we need to do more to bring forward the day when every child survives. Gifts in Wills fund over a third of our research, and are vital in bringing forward the day when future generations won’t fear cancer.
Adrian was diagnosed with advanced skin cancer after his wife noticed a mole on his back had changed colour. Adrian explains:
The Doctors said my wife probably saved my life because she insisted I went to the doctors. I simply wouldn’t have gone under my own steam. They removed the mole immediately and I remember sitting by myself in my office at work when I got a horrible call from the GP saying we’ve got some bad news – do you mind sitting down?
In April 2013 the consultant said I might have as little as 12 months left. I blubbed like a two year old because I thought it was all over. The next two months were the lowest of my life. Once I’d stopped blubbing I said ‘OK, what options do I have?’ That’s when they said that there might be a clinical trial I could join.
I’m living proof that, through research, we’re winning. The more money we can get in the more clinical trials we can fund. Thank you to people who have donated through Wills, it's allowing me to live my life now, to be a grandfather in the future, to see my daughter get married. And you have given me that chance.
Our researchers discovered a faulty gene in skin cancer that underpinned the development of promising new targeted treatments for skin cancer, such as the treatment that has shown such remarkable results with Adrian.
Today, 9 in 10 people diagnosed with malignant melanoma survive their disease for ten years or more. Our work has been at the heart of this progress, but we have much more to do. Gifts in Wills help us research drugs, discover what drives cancer to grow, and find new ways to detect cancer at an early stage, helping save lives like Adrian’s.
Nina and Steve
Nina and Steve’s story is told by Nina’s sister Susan.
My sister Nina died of ovarian cancer seven months before her husband Steve. It was because of her disease, and their desire to give hope to other cancer sufferers, that Steve and Nina decided to leave a legacy to Cancer Research UK.
They met at work in the early nineties and married in 1996 in Nina's native Scotland. Three years after their wedding, Nina discovered that she had cancer. She was thirty seven. After surgery, she was given the all-clear as the tumours were found to be borderline. However, three years later the cancer returned. At the time, they had just completed the process to adopt a little girl. Now the adoption had to be cancelled, and chemotherapy begun.
Nina fought her disease with great courage and lived on until November 2012, through many recurrences but also remissions when she and Steve lived life to the full. During the twelve and a half years of her illness Steve was her rock even as his own health began to deteriorate. He grieved deeply for his wife and died in June 2013.
Nina and Steve’s support for Cancer Research UK is a ray of hope and love placed against our loss. I know that I can speak for their families when I say that it comforts us to know that their loving-kindness is still at work in the world through the work of yours that they will fund.
Nina and Steve are two of over 100,000 people who have a left a gift in their Will to Cancer Research UK. It’s in large part thanks to generosity like this that today we can say 2 in 4 people will survive cancer for 10 years or more.
Thea was diagnosed with a Wilm’s tumour in 2004, when she was six years old. Thea’s Mum Sally explains:
Thea's tumour was huge, absolutely huge, I think it was over ten centimetres. She had a tiny piece of kidney, a one centimetre rim that was the only bit that was healthy. She had some chemotherapy to shrink the tumour. Even when she lost all of her beautiful long dark hair she still never complained and even though the chemotherapy made her so ill, she was just relieved to be receiving treatment.
Thea is living proof that research works and it needs to continue. Life is so exciting now because there's so much to see. I'm so proud of her, you know. Thea's studying in health, she wants to go into paediatric oncology and I just think it's amazing. But all these things we would never have been able to see without people supporting Cancer Research UK and donating through Wills. I just think it's amazing.
Cancer Research UK has helped to fund research that has changed the way children like Thea are treated for Wilms’ tumour. Such research has been made possible in part thanks to the vital funding received from those who have left a gift in their Will.
Today as many people survive cancer as die from cancer, but there’s much more work to do. Our ambition is to accelerate progress so that 3 in 4 people survive the disease by 2034.
Anne, a teaching assistant, was diagnosed with bowel cancer after using a bowel screening test. Anne explains:
On my 60th birthday, I received a bowel cancer testing kit in the post from the NHS. I wasn’t going to do it but in the end I thought it was daft not to and sent it back. It turned out that five of the samples had shown abnormalities. I had investigations by camera and straight away I was called in and told that they had found a growth. I was told that the tumour was just starting to break through the outer side of the bowel.
Without the gifts people have left in their Wills, I most probably wouldn't be here to see my children grow up and to see my grandchildren grow up, and my family would have lost me. If you're leaving a gift in your Will you might be saving your grandchild, you might be saving your sister, you might be saving a cousin, you might be saving a neighbour. It doesn't even have to be a huge amount of money, just a small amount is one step forward.
Last year £178 million pounds was raised thanks to the amazing people who have left gifts in their Will to Cancer Research UK. It is gifts like these that enable us to play an instrumental role in supporting the use of the bowel screening test, taking part in pilot studies and advertising campaigns.