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Awards for leaders combatting cancer

This news post is over 2 years old

Praise for those in business contributing to the cause

Business leaders have received an award from Cancer Research UK in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the cause.

The charity’s Flame of Hope Awards acknowledge remarkable efforts in fundraising and volunteering made by people from all walks of life. Mactaggart & Mickel director Joanne Casey, Yvonne Brady and Jo Milmine first came up with the idea of launching a Business Beats Cancer dinner in Glasgow which this year marked its fifth anniversary. The annual dinner which attracts around 300 guests has raised more than £350,000 so far to fund vital research in to gentler and more effective treatments for cancer.

Now Joanne and the other members of the Business Beats Cancer board have scooped a Flame of Hope pioneer award, beating off stiff competition from across the UK.

They were congratulated at a special online presentation last week. (October 16) This was in place of a ceremony in London hosted by Cancer Research UK’s chairman, Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, which had to be cancelled to protect the country’s health during the COVID-19 outbreak. Joanne Casey, who is stepping down as chair of the Business Beats Cancer board after leading it since 2016, also helped inspire similar Business Beats Cancer event across the UK in cities including Edinburgh, Belfast and Birmingham.

Joanne said: “Covid-19 has made 2020 the toughest of years but through it all cancer continues to hit people of all ages.

“Cancer is indiscriminate. I was 22 when my father aged 49 and brother aged 18 lost their battles with cancer within two weeks of one another, so Cancer Research UK is very close to my heart.

“We’re fortunate in Scotland to have world leading research in to cancer on our doorsteps and I believe research is the way to save lives. We’re very humbled to receive the Flame of Hope award. While the pandemic has knocked things back, there are a lot of talented individuals on the Business Beats Cancer board and I think together they have what it takes to build things back up in the future.”

This year’s Business Beats Cancer dinner held at the Grand Central Hotel in February just weeks before lockdown featured the auction of a painting created by seven-year-old Lydia Yilmaz of Glasgow who had overcome leukaemia. Lydia, a recipient of a Cancer Research UK for Children & Young People star award, was thrilled when her colourful painting raised £10,000. The dinner also included a speech by Dr Seth Coffelt, a researcher in to breast and ovarian cancer at the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute in Glasgow.

Each year around 32,400 people are diagnosed with cancer and 16,100 people die from cancer in Scotland.

The pandemic has caused a devastating loss of funding for cancer research. Following the cancellation of fundraising events like Race for Life, Cancer Research UK is expecting a staggering £160 million drop in income in the year ahead. As a result, the charity has made the difficult decision to cut £44 million in research funding.

Michelle Mitchell, Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, said: “The Flame of Hope awards give us the opportunity to celebrate and say thank you to our enormously generous volunteers and supporters for their fantastic work.

“Covid-19 has slowed us down but we will never stop. We are determined to continue our research to create better treatments for tomorrow. Cancer Research UK has continued to work through world wars, recession and other periods of major disruption. We remain as focussed as ever on beating cancer and I want to thank everyone who has supported us through this time.”



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