Friday, 9 October 2009

NGR-1 at Number 10 Downing Street

I was at Number 10 last night with our Chair of Trustees, Isla Smith and our celebrity supporters, Diana Moran, Linford Christie and Angelica Bell. There was a wide range of people with an interest in breast cancer to celebrate the achievements of research and care with the Prime Minister and Sarah Brown. These included not only our celebrity supporters but also representatives from the main charities involved in various aspects of breast cancer, the breast screening service, scientists, clinicians, nurses, volunteers and patients.

Sarah Brown spent a lot of time talking to the guests – she said to Angelica and me that the PM had only decided to do this a couple of weeks ago because not only was it Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) but he felt that we didn’t do enough to celebrate our achievements.

He spoke about various groups and the work they do and then about research in the UK and “even this week there has been work published on a new gene NGR-1”. I quite shamelessly elbowed my way towards him at the end of the speech and said that, firstly this was research we supported and secondly that the government needs to support the Charity Research Support Fund otherwise ground-breaking research like this will not be supported to the same extent in the future. We won’t let it rest there and will continue campaigning – so much done and so much more to do. See our report Full Economic Costing.

It was a great feeling to be there – there are so many people working really hard to make life better for women with breast cancer and we do focus very much on what still needs to be done rather than achievements in the past. We have our next Scientific Advisory Board meeting in November when they will be deciding on the next round of research grants – so much to do.

The week isn’t over yet – tomorrow is our Pink Ribbon Ball. It is the highlight of BCAM and a huge amount of effort for the committee, volunteers and staff. The Ball is like the swan – serene and beautiful on the surface and paddling like mad underneath.

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