Annual WIMM fundraiser raises over £1000 for urology cancer research

Every year in early summer, a team of dedicated volunteers at the WIMM put together a series of fund-raising activities in aid of a local charity, which is often chosen because the beneficiary has links to staff and students at the Institute.

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This year, the WIMM decided to support UCARE (Urology Cancer Research and Education), a charity based at the nearby Churchill Hospital in Oxford which aims to improve the treatment and care of patients suffering from urological cancers.

Tragically, in May 2014 Dr Nilay Patel, urological surgeon and UCARE supporter, died suddenly aged 39. In his memory, UCARE launched an appeal earlier this year to buy a new ultrasound scanner for use exclusively by the urological team. At the moment, they rely on a scanner which has to be moved in from another department when required, which loses the team valuable time when treating a patient.

Dr. Patel worked closely with scientists at the WIMM during his medical training, completing a period of postgraduate research with Professor Adrian Harris from 2002-2004. He was widely regarded as a hugely talented doctor, and was greatly valued as a colleague.

The WIMM fundraising team set up a series of events to support the scanner appeal, selling plants, cakes, books and other items over a period of months including the annual WIMM Quiz (an eagerly anticipated event in the institute’s social calendar!)

Alongside many teams of scientists from the WIMM, UCARE themselves had two teams, and the organisers were honoured that Dr. Patel’s widow, Seetal, was able to participate in the quiz.

To date, the activities organised by the WIMM have raised a total of £1193.62 with some further donations still expected, which will go towards the £30,000 required to purchase a new scanner for the urology team.

In addition, later in the year a village fête-style event will also be held at the WIMM, where any funds raised will also support the UCARE scanner appeal.

Doug Higgs, Director of the WIMM, said: ‘Colleagues at the WIMM have put a tremendous amount of energy and enthusiasm into a variety of fundraising events for UCARE including the annual WIMM quiz evening. It has been great to see everyone having a good time and, at the same time, raising funds for an excellent medical charity.’

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Karen McKenna from UCare said: ‘We would like to thank everyone at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine for their support of UCARE this year. We had two UCARE teams at the annual quiz and we all agreed it was a fabulous night, the welcome and hospitality you gave us was really wonderful, such a lot of hard work had obviously gone into making it such a special evening and we were very grateful to be a part of it.’

‘We are proud to be working with you during the remainder of the year, together raising funding for further research and equipment and increasing awareness of the disease.’

You can read more about UCARE here, and donate to the scanner appeal here.