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A Christmas message from our Chief Executive

16th December 2019

Dr Helen Rippon, our Chief Executive, looks back on 2019 and all the amazing things Worldwide Cancer Research achieved.

2019 has truly been a milestone year for Worldwide Cancer Research – not least because it marked 40 years since our founding in 1979 by Dr Colin Thomson. He was willing to take risks by funding bold research because he knew that it was the only way to conquer cancer.

Sadly, in 1997, Colin himself died of the very disease he had dedicated his life to curing. And of course, families like Colin’s continue to be affected by this devastating disease. While cancer survival rates have doubled in the last four decades, 1 in 2 people in the UK are set to be diagnosed with some form of cancer in their lifetime.

For us – that’s 1 in 2 too many. This year we reaffirmed our mission – to find and fund the brightest, boldest research all over the world, so that we can give more people more precious time with their loved ones. Recently we shared Adam’s story with you – as he sadly faces another Christmas without his Mum and Dad.

Adam would go to the ends of the earth to have his parents with him for one more Christmas – and that’s why we will keep going to the ends of the earth to find and fund the bold ideas that kickstart cancer cures. We are currently funding 70 pioneering projects across 55 research institutes in 18 different countries. 

Just last month, our Scientific Advisory Committee got together for 2019’s BIG meeting – where they reviewed ideas put forward by scientists from all over the world to identify the most promising cancer research projects to fund next. We also headed out onto the streets of Edinburgh and Glasgow as part of our First Step campaign, raising awareness of the desperate need to back bright new ideas to find new treatments and cures for cancer.

We think Team Worldwide is something amazing to be a part of – and we hope you do too. Thanks so much for all of your support this year, and indeed over the last 40 years. We couldn’t do this without you.

Merry Christmas and best wishes from all of us here at Worldwide Cancer Research.