Trusts are funding vital research

27 Aug 2015

A trust is an organisation which gives out grants to charities and community groups to help further their work and benefit the public.

Ben Roe, who's beaten childhood acute myeloid leukaemia twiceThe Childwick Trust

The Childwick Trust have long been supporters of our work, and have given several generous donations since 1992. In 2014, the Childwick Trust supported our work once again by giving £10,000 towards our ground-breaking research.

How the Childwick Trust could change lives like Ben’s

Ben’s mum Lynn tells their family’s story:

“Ben was born with Down's syndrome and was only 23 months old when he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). He had six months of intensive chemotherapy then went into remission.

We thought that that was the end of it, but it was just the beginning. Just 14 months later in 2006, Ben became ill again and was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). It was a crushing blow – he’d already been through so much.

Ben was only the second person in the country known to have developed ALL after AML. He started treatment immediately but he struggled to cope with the toxicity of the chemotherapy.

As a result of frequent bad reactions to the drugs, he missed a lot of his treatment and his chances of beating this terrible disease were only 50-60%. Yet Ben smiled his way through everything and we never gave up hope – we simply kept on fighting. On 24 February 2014, after nine long years fighting blood cancer, Ben got the all clear!

There are no words to express the relief, joy and happiness that we all felt on hearing the news – we took Ben out to his favourite place and celebrated as a family. Although there’ll always be a little bit of fear that the leukaemia may return, with each passing day that fear reduces. We’re so proud of Ben and the way he has fought blood cancer – he’s one amazing little boy.”

We’re closer to understanding acute myeloid leukaemia

The research funded by the Childwick Trust is helping us to unlock the secrets to why some children with Down's syndrome go on to develop AML.

Children with Down's syndrome are much more likely to develop AML than the general population. AML is a form of fast-growing blood cancer that affects blood-producing cells in the bone marrow – and it can be hard to treat.

Professors Irene Roberts and Paresh Vyas at the University of Oxford are looking for answers to key questions in this area. Only through gaining a better understanding of the biology at work can we begin to improve diagnosis of blood cancer in babies with Down's syndrome, and prevent children with Down's syndrome from developing leukaemia in the first place.

Read more about how major gifts support our work >