The June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund
By Kimberley Stubbs
The June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund was established in 1997 shortly after June’s death from mesothelioma by family and friends wishing to carry on June’s quest to conquer the evil cancer: mesothelioma. So far donations totalling in excess of £350,000 have been received, mostly in small donations from those personally affected by the disease.
The June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund aims to:
- encourage and sponsor vital epidemiological research into the causes of mesothelioma, and the exact part that asbestos plays in its causation;
- contribute to clinical trials with novel drugs therapies for mesothelioma;
- raise awareness of the disease amongst healthcare professionals and the public at large;
- provide good quality, easy to understand and up to date information and advice for mesothelioma sufferers and their carers, through published material, a national helpline and periodic conferences and educational seminars;
- achieve delivery of the Mesothelioma Charter as soon as possible
The Fund has supported research projects in Leicester, Glasgow, London and Cardiff and has under-written 10 multi-professional educational events. Closer to home, a donation to the Ridings Asbestos Support & Awareness Group (RASAG) facilitated the opening of an office in Armley, Leeds where people can obtain much needed advice and support either in person or by phone.
Our donation to the MSO1 pilot trial enabled the preliminary work on that very important research project to be conducted; the disposition of a further £100,000 to UK mesothelioma researchers is now under consideration. Ten years after June’s death, the work which was so dear to her heart continues.
My Mum, June Hancock, came to know many special people throughout her illness and legal battle, from barristers to journalists, from solicitors to medics, from legal secretaries to other individuals suffering from mesothelioma. She would often speak proudly and fondly about the wonderful friendships she had made. Many of these friends were involved in the setting up of The June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund in June’s honour and spirit.
The fact that the Fund goes from strength to strength is testimony to the profound impact that she had on all who knew her and loved her. The dedication and commitment of these wonderful people is overwhelming, and deserving of the highest recognition and appreciation. Like June, I feel privileged to call them my friends; together we continue June’s battle for justice.