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£10m celebrations for cancer charity

PUBLISHED: 08:36 02 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:56 22 October 2010

MARK NICHOLLS

A Norfolk-based cancer charity has passed a major fund-raising milestone with donations topping the £10m mark. Formed 25 years ago, Big C is celebrating the achievement on the back of opening the new £1million Big C Centre at the Norfolk and Norwich University HospitaL.

A Norfolk-based cancer charity has passed a major fund-raising milestone with donations topping the £10m mark.

Formed 25 years ago, Big C is celebrating the achievement on the back of opening the new £1m Big C Centre at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital a month ago.

The charity, which covers Norfolk and north Suffolk, offers help, support and information to those affected by cancer, and helps fund research into cancer and the purchase of cancer equipment.

Since the charity began, in addition to capital projects, over £5.5m has been awarded in grants, which include £1.8m on research, £1.2m on medical equipment for hospitals and surgeries across the region, £389,000 on breast screen-ing units, over £2.2m to both the old and new Norfolk and Norwich Hospitals and £489,000 to the James Paget Hospital at Gorleston.

The charity also funds internat-ionally renowned research at the Biomedical Research Centre at UEA and equipment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn.

Honorary secretary of the Big C Appeal, Theresa Cossey, said: "I never thought when I first became involved with Big C 25 years ago that it would raise £250,000, never mind 40 times that. The generosity of the people of Norfolk and north Suffolk is to be applauded."

Professor Dylan Edwards, from UEA, who is leading research into cancer, said the reaching of this particular milestone was to be celebrated.

He added: "The battle against cancer is a long one and we are making progress in identifying new genes that are linked to the development of breast, prostate and head and neck cancers.

"I am extremely grateful for the generosity of everyone who has donated to Big C because funding from Big C supports world-class cancer research projects in the Biomedical Research Centre at UEA and allows us to buy new equipment that keeps us at the leading edge."

The independent charity was started 25 years ago by David Moar and Clive Bamford. Both were cancer patients who were forced to travel to London for treatment.

Mr Moar decided that he wanted to make sure that no one else in Norfolk would have to put up with such long and arduous journeys for treatment and so he and Mr Bamford set up the Big C one night while out for a drink.

With the support of the community, the charity has helped to make a positive difference to the lives of cancer sufferers by funding equipment, specialist nurses, counselling services and research into various cancers.

Statistics show that one in three people will have cancer at some stage in their lives and all those involved with Big C are still determined that people in Norfolk and north Suffolk should have access to the very best treatment and care locally, which is why they are now looking for help to raise the next million pounds.

To find out more about helping Big C, contact Sharon Hulbert, fund-raising manager, on 01603 751691.


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