A cancer scientist, who lost her father to the disease, is urging people across Liverpool to donate to Cancer Research UK on World Cancer Day.
Claire Armstrong, 27, has just completed a four-year PhD funded by Cancer Research UK at the University of Liverpool, where she has been developing cutting-edge innovations to help improve cancer survival rates. She chose to dedicate her 80,000-word thesis to her late father, Malcolm.
Now she is backing Cancer Research UK’s campaign for World Cancer Day and is encouraging local people to donate to the charity on Thursday, February 4 to help fund future research into the disease.
Claire said: “My dad was diagnosed with a type of lung cancer while I was studying from my undergraduate degree. By my final year he had passed away and never got to see me graduate.
“It was just after he died when the opportunity came up to apply for a PhD funded by Cancer Research UK and after seeing how cancer had affected my dad it just felt like the right thing to do.
“I think he’d be incredibly proud to know he’s helped to motivate me to pursue a career to help others. I wanted to give something back for the treatment he received and it’s exciting to think that my PhD research could go on to save the lives of future cancer patients.”
Money raised by World Cancer Day donations will help fund crucial research into the disease, such as the work carried out by scientists like Claire.
She has been part of a team developing a way to create drug-carrying particles to improve the way chemotherapy drugs are carried around the body. It is hoped that this work will help target tumours in a more powerful way and reduce the impact that chemotherapy can have on healthy tissue.
But life-saving work such as this is now under threat. Due to the impact of the pandemic, Cancer Research UK expects to see its fundraising income decline by a staggering £300m over the next three years.
Claire said: “Charities like Cancer Research UK have been hit hard by COVID-19, but we can all play a part in helping to protect people with cancer from the fallout of the pandemic.
“Every year, over 40,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in the North West of England* so by donating to Cancer Research UK, people can show their support for those affected.”
Marked on February 4, World Cancer Day is an international initiative, which unites people around the world to beat the disease. Right now, it’s never been more important to help save more lives.
In the UK, survival has doubled in the last 40 years and Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of that progress. But the charity needs more support to continue its mission.
Anna Taylor, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for the North West, said: “One in two people will get cancer in their lifetime**, which is why we’re absolutely determined to continue to create better cancer treatments for tomorrow.
“World Cancer Day is a great opportunity for people in Liverpool to unite and show solidarity with everyone whose life has been touched by the disease.
“Our research has played a role in developing 8 of the world’s top 10 cancer drugs and we’re working every day to find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat the disease. But we can’t do it alone.
“That’s why we hope people across the town will donate to Cancer Research UK, knowing they are helping to save lives. Together we will beat cancer.”
Before the pandemic, Cancer Research UK was able to spend over £30 million in the North West of England last year on some of the UK’s leading scientific and clinical research.
Donate online at cruk.org/worldcancerday