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The Ollie Young Foundation announces £170,000 research funding for the Institute of Cancer Research, London.

28th September 2021

The Ollie Young Foundation (OYF) has committed £170,000 to the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) to fund 2 years of the research of Yura Grabovska – a Bioinformatics Officer in Professor Chris Jones’s Glioma Team.

OYF funds research, like Yura’s, to improve the outlook for other children with brain tumours.  Yura’s expertise is vital in enabling the team to effectively and efficiently interpret the complex datasets generated from their analysis of patient samples. This analysis is a crucial part of identifying and prioritising the most promising drug candidates.

Sarah Simpson, Ollie’s mum, said:

“Ollie was very happy and lovable, and such a cheeky little chappy. You never knew when to believe him because he was always playing practical jokes, so when he started walking a bit to the side and saying he felt dizzy, we weren’t sure if he was just playing around. When the doctors first told us Ollie had a brain tumour, I thought okay we can manage this, there will be treatments for him – and then we got told that he had a grade 4 glioblastoma, and he’d be lucky if he had two weeks to live. And I think that was when it really hit home. At that point, they also said there was nothing more they could do.

“We set up the Foundation after Ollie’s death because I 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 Yura and 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.

“Our local area of Wokingham have been absolutely amazing and behind us 100%, and it means a lot that everyone is so supportive of us. I hope that people will continue to be generous to help us make sure that no other families have to go through what ours has.”

Dr Yura Grabovska, Bioinformatics Officer at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, said:

“Ollie was clearly a very caring and popular boy, and I feel honoured to be working in his name. I am truly grateful to the Ollie Young Foundation for their generous support of my research. I find it extremely motivating that my research is working towards better outcomes for children like Ollie – and bringing hope to their families – and I’m going to work extremely hard to make sure that every penny raised by the Foundation helps to create a brighter future for other children with cancer.”

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