Donation raises big smile

Donation raises big smile

Donation raises big smile

First published in Surrey Comet: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy editor - Kingston

A children's cancer charity has received its single largest donation from the charitable arm of the Surrey Comet's parent company.

Christopher's Smile this week celebrated received a cheque totalling £37,333 from the Gannett Foundation which owns media group Newsquest.

The money will go towards the charity's aim of funding new drugs targeting childhood cancers without adverse side effects.

Christopher's Smile was started in October 2008 by Karen and Kevin Capel in memory of their son, who died of a brain tumour just nine days short of his sixth birthday.

So far, the organisation has funded key laboratory equipment for the paediatric drug development team at The Institute of Cancer Research in Sutton, as well as funding three research positions.

Karen, from Lightwater, near Camberley, said: "It is the largest single grant we have received and means a huge amount to us.

"We are extremely grateful to The Gannett Foundation for making this award.

"It is perfectly timed as the equipment to be purchased with the grant will be used from the start of 2013 by our latest researcher- who we have now fully funded and who has just been recruited.

"The equipment is vital to the role, that of paediatric molecular pathologist. The molecular biology of children’s tumours will be assessed to ensure the most suitable children are put forward for trials with new targeted treatments.

"This work is the first of its kind in Europe for children and we are very excited about the huge steps forward through this work.”

A total of £328,577 in 38 grants was distributed to good causes across the UK in this year’s round of Gannett Foundation charitable awards.

Trustees of the foundation shied away from funding bids consisting primarily of project administration and running costs, or for ephemeral projects with no lasting legacy.

They favoured projects involving investment in real things or improvements to existing facilities which were owned or at least sufficiently controlled by the relevant charity.

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