Steve Prescott Foundation (SPF) Trustee Linzi Prescott this week presented a magnificent £50k cheque to Professor Mark Saunders, Consultant Clinical Oncologist and to Professor Sarah O’Dwyer, Consultant Surgeon and Lead Clinician for the Peritoneal Tumour Service at The Christie. The presentation was facilitated by The Christie Charity Community Fundraising Officer Louise Dawson. Mark is the lead consultant who specialises in the treatment of Pseudomyxoma Peritonei (PMP) and gastrointestinal tumours.
Mark said, ‘Thank you for the very kind donation. It’s a huge amount and I know your fundraisers have contributed so much over the years. We have a very active programme here at The Christie.’
Sarah said. ‘What a fantastic opportunity this donation gives us to allow us to build on work already started on research into Peritoneal disease. Thanks to donations like this from the SPF we were able in March to open a laboratory here at The Manchester Cancer Research Centre at The Christie. We are bringing tissues from the operations on patients into the lab where we can interrogate the cell and the genetic profiles and what drives these cells to cause the devastating disease. To be able to give us a donation of this amount is extraordinary. We thank the SPF and everyone who has contributed hugely.’
The SPF donation is the culmination of the amazing fundraising and donations from supporters and sponsors for SPF events during 2020. These include Taylor Prescott’s amazing 7 Ultra Marathons in 7 days and the GPW Recruitment St Helens 10k run in March. Sadly, all of our other planned fundraising challenges were cancelled due to the Covid Pandemic. However, people were incredibly supportive during the first lockdown of the SPF virtual events, the Road to Wembley Challenge and the LEJOG 10k run. A special mention goes out to Jimmy Gittins Herculean efforts walking round his garden, Paul Sculthorpe’s 40 hours on a Watt bike, Dave Howarth’s fifty 10k runs in 50 days and the Leigh family 24-hour Watt bike challenge. And there was the memorable occasion when Johnny Vegas had his televised ‘socially distanced haircut’ hindered by Paul Sculthorpe. We are eternally thankful to everyone for their magnificent support.
From the outset of the Covid pandemic we were able to be proactively involved in several community projects. Our ambassadors and volunteers dedicated their time and efforts to helping other people.
During Lockdown One we purchased and donated two Paxman Scalp Cooling Machines at a cost of £28,500 to the Lilac Centre, St Helens Hospital.
We were also able to:
- Coordinate the delivery of over 4,000 Eccleston Arms Essential meals by our volunteers
- Manage and assiste with PPE shortfall.
- Received the Daily Telegraph Britain's Coronavirus Community Hero Award
- During Lockdown 2 our volunteers delivered 2511 Eccleston Arms “No One Goes Hungry Meals” and continue to work tirelessly helping those in need.
Donations to the SPF received are inspired by Steve Prescott MBE who passed away in November 2013. Steve played rugby league for St Helens, Hull FC and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats and was a Great Britain and Ireland international.
Steve was diagnosed with a rare abdominal cancer, pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP) in 2006 and formed the SPF in 2007 to raise awareness and funds for the Rugby League Benevolent Fund and The Christie in Manchester. Steve undertook many physically and mentally exhausting challenges during his illness to raise funds and awareness of the charities close to his heart. In October 2013 he underwent a pioneering multi visceral transplant of the small bowel, pancreas, duodenum and abdominal wall at the Oxford Transplant Unit and although this procedure eradicated the cancer Steve passed away a few weeks later due to complications of surgery.
The Christie has received £640,000 in donations from the SPF since its inception in 2007.
Linzi Prescott said. ‘We are delighted to continue to support The Christie including their research programme for Pseudomyxoma related conditions. The SPF is so grateful to all the people who have completed challenges for us this year in such difficult circumstances and for all the donations we have received. It really does make a difference to people’s lives.’’
This year, the SPF has also donated £50k to the Rugby League Benevolent Fund as a result of donations received during the year.
SPF fundraising challenges for 2021 include the GPW Recruitment St Helens 10k Run on Sunday 7th March.