Pledging to beat cancer
Supporters and Researchers make their pledges to beat cancer
Together with your pledge and ours, Cancer Research UK will beat cancer for future generations.
By joining together through the power of gifts in Wills, our supporters and researchers are creating an unstoppable force, bringing forward the day all cancers are beaten.
Jo, Pledger, Dundee
‘I am passionate about helping beat cancer’
I am leaving a Legacy because we have been fighting cancer as a family since my wife Sue was diagnosed in 1993. I will continue to fight cancer until I pass away, so why not continue to fight cancer when I am gone.
Sue was diagnosed with a very rare cancer called a phaeochromocytoma and the cancer had spread to her bones.
We were told that she had six months to live which was very hard as our children were aged 16, 14 and the twins were 12.
Fortunately, Sue was able to have treatment and that allowed her to live a normal life, bringing up the children and going back to work. We also travelled to see parts of the world that we had been leaving until our retirement.
In 2002, I could see that the disease and the treatment was starting to take its toll on Sue, and I asked the company I worked with if I could take early retirement which I did in April 2003. I was able to look after Sue until she sadly passed away on the 23rd December 2003.
In 2010, we found out that the faulty SDH-B gene that had caused Sue’s phaeochromocytoma was hereditary. My two eldest children Katie and Jonathan do not have the faulty gene but my twins Jennie and James have.
Jennie and James continue to be screened on a regular basis.
I had been invited in 2016 by the CRUK legacy manager for Scotland to a legacy event and I decided to leave a Legacy then. I am passionate about helping beat cancer and I hope that my Legacy gift will help find a way of treating people around the world.
I also hope my Legacy could encourage people touched by cancer to realise that they can be proactive and help CRUK scientists to find cures for the terrible disease that cancer is.
Val, Pledger, Birmingham
'I want the money from my lifetime to do something everlasting’
I began supporting Cancer Research UK in 1984 when my lovely mum was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was treated with a lumpectomy but sadly died in 1985. It was heart-breaking and still is to this day. I know everyone says their mum is the best, but mine really was.
I started fundraising at my work – I worked at British Telecom in a big switchroom – firstly a raffle which went well and then in my next job I became a charity champion, raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for Cancer Research UK.
I also set up a permanent donation station at my local social club and along with music gigs, raffles and other initiatives, have raised over £30,000 for CRUK in three years.
My motivation for fundraising and for pledging to leave a gift in my will is because I hope the money raised will fund research so that no other families have to go through what ours did and so that no other 21 year old has to lose their beloved mother to cancer.
I have seen the advances in research over recent years and I believe that if my mum had been diagnosed now she would have had a much better chance of surviving.
I am passionate about finding cures for this horrible heart-breaking disease, I’d like to turn heart break into survival. I want the money from my lifetime to do something everlasting.
By donating to Cancer Research UK, research can be done – you can’t undo research! I want my gift to help people and in my eyes, research is the BEST way to do that; nobody knows what the next £100, £1000, £10,000 can bring research wise but I am convinced it will save and prolong otherwise shortened lives.
Victor and Babs, Pledgers, London
‘You can play a part in furthering research’
Babs: “For many people the word cancer still has that dread factor. When my late husband was ill I used to say my prayers and say, ‘there’s one piece of the puzzle still missing, please let them find it’. The more money Cancer Research UK has from legacies and other income, the more research they can do and find the missing pieces of the puzzle and save lives.
“These days, there are so many new treatments and that’s brilliant. It makes you excited to hear about the research and think that you can play a part in furthering research.”
Vic: “I had cancer of the larynx 26 years ago. I was successfully treated with radiotherapy, although I lost my voice for six weeks. I had to wear a specially-made mask, which was then bolted to the table so that my head and neck didn’t move during the radiotherapy. They offered me the mask to take home after the final session, but I politely declined! Quite a few years later, I was then diagnosed with basal cell skin cancer on my face and scalp and was given the option of being treated with surgery or a cream. I opted for the cream, which left me looking very blotchy and red for a short while but was successful in eradicating the lesions.
“Having been a survivor from two lots of cancer and with my late wife dying of bowel cancer, which spread to her liver and lungs, that has motivated me to support Cancer Research UK. Being invited on lab tours and seeing the research is very motivational. It feels like there is so much happening in the research field at the moment and I hope for the day when no-one has to fear cancer.”
Duncan, Researcher, Cardiff
‘It is for the many people like my parents ’
Duncan researches ‘telomeres’, the structures that protect chromosomes and the genes that they contain from damage.
“Cancer Research UK funding is fundamental to everything we do. I was a Cancer Research UK senior fellowship holder from 2005-2011. Without this award I could not have continued as a research scientist and would have ended up changing career. My lab is currently supported by Cancer Research UK via a 5-year programme grant, this long term funding provides stability and allows people in the lab to develop more ambitious programmes of work than they could if they were employed on standard 3-year research contracts.”
“Our lab has developed the highest resolution approach available to measure how long telomeres are. We have also defined the length at which telomeres become dysfunctional and chromosomes start to become damaged. Our results have shown that telomere length can be used to define both the prognosis, and the response to treatment, of patients with several different types of cancer, including chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, myelodysplasia, multiple myeloma and breast cancer. We have developed our technology for clinical application and we are in the process of bringing this technology to cancer patients and the pharmaceutical industry.”
“Both my parents died of cancer, for both it was very sudden and brutal. My mother in particular went from diagnosis to death in a matter of months and had no opportunity to say goodbye to any of her family. It is for the many people like my parents, that I want to keep making a contribution to our understanding of cancer.”
“It is sobering to think that a large proportion of the funding that keeps our laboratory going, has come from those who have sadly passed away, but have committed to giving to Cancer Research UK so the money can be put towards the combined effort to find more effective therapies for cancer patients.”
Alan, Researcher, Cardiff
‘Fundraisers and researchers working together’
Alan and his team research ‘virotherapy’, a very different way to treat cancer that uses viruses to infect and kill cancer cells, which trigger the immune system, improving its ability to effectively recognise and destroy tumours.
“There’s one defining moment that pushed me towards a career in cancer, the loss of my mother to the disease in 1994. I was 17 then, my mother was 50. Obviously, that was a tough time, losing my mother at that age, and I think like many who lose a loved one at a relatively young age, I wanted to try and do something positive in my life to improve outcomes for people with cancer, so that others could hold on to their loved ones for longer.“
“The funding we receive from gifts in Wills and the hard work by Cancer Research UK’s supporters is absolutely pivotal to our research, and we certainly couldn’t be doing the work we currently do without it. It has allowed us to really push ahead and accelerate the speed with which we are developing new and more powerful agents to treat cancer. The speed with which our research is now progressing is more rapid than I could possibly have imagined just a few years ago, and this wouldn’t be possible without the generous funding from Cancer Research UK.”
“It is a wonderful gift to give to leave money in a Will to help us keep fighting against cancer. I’m so grateful all those people who raise the funds and leave gifts in Wills, that allow us to continue to push the boundaries forward and move us closer to delivering exciting new therapies for cancer. We all work tirelessly, and it’s real team effort – fundraisers and researchers working together, but together we will beat cancer. And by doing so, we will give families more time together.”
Laura, Research Nurse, Glasgow
‘The funding from gifts in Wills is essential’
Laura is a nurse in clinical research. She tests and evaluates new ways of treating cancer.
“Gifts left in Wills to Cancer Research UK are absolutely essential to what I do. They enable me to work clinically and support patients participating in trials. It means I can also facilitate patient and public involvement, as well as provide education and training to non-research staff around clinical trials, so they can understand the changing face of cancer care.”
“The funding from gifts in Wills is essential to continue researching new potential treatments and to provide treatment options and hope to millions of cancer patients worldwide. I am very thankful to those who leave a gift in their Will to help benefit others.”
“I have had close family and friends affected by cancer in the last few years. I have seen first-hand the complete devastation a cancer diagnosis can bring and also the massive benefit new treatments as a result of research.
I’m immensely grateful to all those who leave a legacy in their Will to continue supporting vital work to find the best ways to prevent cancer, detect cancer earlier and also treat those affected by cancer. I hope that in the future no-one has to be afraid when they hear the word cancer and that we have a treatment option available for everyone facing a cancer diagnosis.”