Action Mesothelioma Day Leeds

July 17, 2012

An event by The June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund (JHMRF)

Despite the horrendously wet weather the Action Mesothelioma Day (AMD) event held on 6 July 2012 at The Thackray Medical Museum, Leeds was well attended – a credit to everyone who struggled through the torrential rain to mark this very important day dedicated to remembering the victims of asbestos.

The theme of the day was ‘Funding mesothelioma research: a forum for fundraisers and individuals affected by mesothelioma’.

The event provided the opportunity for patients, their families and anyone interested in mesothelioma to hear an update on the JHMRF mesothelioma research awards, and short presentations from JHMRF trustees Russell Hancock, Adrian Budgen and Dr Kate Hill. Expert charity fundraiser Mr John Haigh of Martin House Hospice in Boston Spa was our guest speaker and he shared his valuable experience whilst at the same time challenging everyone to think of what might work for them. A very interesting and rewarding session – many attendees left with a list of ideas to start work on straight away!  This was followed by a workshop style session which was very interactive and during which we discussed research funding and shared fundraising ideas. The afternoon was rounded off with a delicious afternoon tea, with sandwiches and cakes.

Elsewhere on Action Mesothelioma Day

Adrian Dobbs* represented the JHMRF at an AMD event organised by support group HASAG (Hampshire Asbestos Support and Awareness Group). Everyone was very welcoming, and it was an enjoyable day. HASAG has many members in the group and Adrian was very impressed by the help they are able to provide. JHMRF newsletters were laid out on the chairs so that those attending could learn more about the Fund and the high quality mesothelioma research we fund. Everyone took a copy of the Newsletter and those attending the AMD event seemed to really enjoy Adrian’s talk too. As the weather was so bad, a planned dove-release had to be postponed, but that allowed for an opportunity to talk in more depth about mesothelioma research and his work in this field. Adrian felt it went down really well – there was certainly a lot of dicussion and questions over lunch afterwards.

Several people in HASAG said that they were more than willing to be involved in any trials or studies taking place, and so it was an opportunity to help disseminate information about ongoing research projects.

HASAG have helped support the JHMRF over many years, and for this we are extremely grateful. It is only through donations that we are able to continue to fund high quality research into this disease. Thank you HASAG.

* Adrian Dobbs

Dr Adrian Dobbs is an organic chemist and recipient of a JHMRF award to fund research at Queen Mary, University of London. His team of researchers have begun synthesising a naturally-occurring compound, which is believed to kill mesothelioma cells.

They want to produce it in sufficient quantities so that tests can establish whether it can be used to treat sufferers. Scientists in Japan had been looking at the compound as a natural product that had a very unusual chemical structure and it was a side feature that they happened to report that it was toxic against mesothelioma cells,” said Dr Adrian Dobbs who is supervising the work.

Dr Dobbs’ interest in the work is both personal and professional. His own father sadly died of mesothelioma in 1998.