Thomas’ Fund is a local charity supported by this year’s main sponsors, Wayman and Long. They wanted to take this opportunity to tell the local business community about it, how they can get involved and why it’s important to them. I asked the charity’s founder, Nicky Broughton to tell me a bit more about what it’s all about.
Thomas' Fund was setup following the death of our son from a brain tumour aged 4. He was diagnosed just before his second birthday and underwent 2 years of chemotherapy but sadly died in November 2015. A post mortem examination provided some answers to why he didn’t respond to treatment. He had a tumour type that was newly recognised, with only a small number of cases reported worldwide and with no current effective treatment. Thomas’ tissue is the first of its kind to have been banked for future research. Following these results, my husband and I decided to set up the charity. Thomas' Fund is raising money into research for childhood brain tumours and is a special named fund of the Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group, both a leading charity and also the professional association for multidisciplinary healthcare workers in paediatric oncology in the UK. As only 1% of government research funding is allocated to brain tumours, charities like ours can play a vital role in supporting work to both improve childhood brain tumour survival and also to improve quality of life by reducing the side-effects of treatment. Thomas’ Fund has raised over £60,000 so far.
Last year we funded a pioneering project at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge which was inspired by Thomas’ case. He suffered side effects from vincristine, which is a commonly used chemotherapy drug. Genetic testing can predict which patients will benefit from vincristine and which will suffer harm; this project aims to help clinicians deliver more personalised treatment protocols for each child.
The story headlined BBC Look East, also featuring on BBC News 24, a full-length radio interview on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, and had 22,000 hits on the BBC Suffolk website. We hope that more of the money raised will fund another research project in the very near future. The money for this project was raised solely on a quiz night that Wayman and Long had sponsored.
Wayman and Long got involved in 2017. The firm’s Practice Manager, Carolyn Armstrong is my friends mother-in-law and telling her about the charity, Wayman & Long was keen to get involved and help raise much needed funds.
Local businesses can help with fundraising by holding their own events, raising money by holding raffles/auctions at in-house events (PwC in Cambridge who raised over £1K at their Christmas party for us), match funding any of our events that we run, or by providing any of their practical services to us. Any amount raised or any help through promotion is really appreciated.
We are organising a Pamper Evening on 15th June and a Ceilidh night 5th October. For 2019 we’re planning a Zumbathon and family scavenger hunt. We have 'challengers' raising money through marathons and mud runs. We will also be attending local schools fairs and large village fairs throughout the summer. But we’re always open to suggestions for new ways to raise money and keen for others to get involved
If you would like to find out more about Thomas’ Fund, visit Wayman and Long on their stands 16 & 17 at the Sudbury Business Expo
Member since: 17th March 2014
Hello! I'm Penny from thebestof Sudbury, shouting about the best local businesses from Hadleigh through the Clare. When I'm not doing that, you'll find me knitting socks or tending to my 6 chickens
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