The Ollie Young Foundation (OYF) has committed a further £174,000 to the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) to fund 3 years of research. The money will enable scientists to continue working on vital data analysis and drug screening for another three years.
Ollie was a cheeky and much loved little boy who enjoyed school and life to the full. He was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour called a glioblastoma, for which there is no treatment or cure.
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Ollie’s mother Sarah Simpson said: “From the day he told us he felt dizzy, ten days later he was in a wheelchair and not able to walk.
“That’s when we got the diagnosis that he had a brain tumour and we got told he had two weeks to live.
“It was all very quick, all very sudden, we didn’t know what was going on. He was a strong-willed lad and he held on for 12 weeks – until the day before his 6th birthday.”
After her son died, Sarah, and Ollie’s Dad, Simon, set up the Ollie Young Foundation to raise money for research into childhood brain tumours.
“We set up the Foundation after Ollie’s death because we thought something has to be done – if someone could have been done something years ago, then maybe we wouldn’t have been in this position. The enthusiasm of the team at The Institute of Cancer Research is exactly what we want to support. We can see their research developing, and we’d really like to be a part of that. I’ve got a lot of faith in our project going forward. I think the future’s bright, but I also think it’s really important that we don’t stop trying to raise money or awareness.
Professor Chris Jones from the Institute of Cancer Research says the money means a dedicated researcher can work in the lab, analysing data and looking at potential drugs that might fight cancer cells.
He added: “We are fortunate to have worked with families like Ollie’s for some time and it’s hugely motivating to my lab to work with these families.
“It really does spur us on to work even harder in the lab, to eventually find a cure for these terrible types of brain tumours.”
The Institute of Cancer Research, London, is one of the world’s most influential cancer research organisations.
The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) has an outstanding record of achievement dating back more than 100 years. It provided the first convincing evidence that DNA damage is the basic cause of cancer, laying the foundation for the now universally accepted idea that cancer is a genetic disease. Today, it is a world leader at identifying cancer-related genes, discovering new targeted drugs and developing new high-precision forms of radiotherapy.
The ICR is a charity and relies on support from partner organisations, funders and the general public. A college of the University of London, it is the UK’s top-ranked academic institution for research quality, and provides postgraduate higher education of international distinction.
The ICR’s mission is to make the discoveries that defeat cancer. For more information visit www.icr.ac.uk