Why people choose to leave a gift to Action in their Will
Dr Shivani Bailey of the University of Cambridge was awarded a Research Training Fellowship (RTF) by Action in 2014. The RTF scheme supports promising doctors and researchers early on in their careers. Dr Bailey is studying a possible new treatment for germ cell cancers (GCC), one that improves survival rates and causes fewer long-term effects. She is very passionate about her work and about improving things for future generations.
“As one of Action Medical Research’s Research Training Fellows and a paediatric trainee, I have spent many years working in child health and it is something I feel very passionately about. I am acutely aware of the importance of charities such as Action in funding potentially life-saving research. This is why, along with looking after my own family after my death, I would like to leave a gift in my will to Action. I know my gift will continue to support others with the passion and drive to work in paediatric research, improving the lives of children for the generations to come”
Anne, a mother of three and now a grandmother of seven, first got involved with Action in the early 1970s. Her daughter had become seriously ill as a baby, spending more than half of her first year of life in hospital. After meeting an Action supporter it didn’t take long for her to be amazed by the work Action was helping to fund and she wanted to be involved. She went on to join a committee and has been devoted to the charity ever since.
“Some people don’t like to talk about it but one thing is certain in life, we all die. I want others to be able to benefit after I’m gone. We’d had so many wonderful things from the health service that I wanted to give something back. I see it as investing in the next generation”.
Keith and Fleur have been involved with Action for the past three years. Their 3-year-old son Aiden suffered from oxygen shortage at birth as a result of a traumatic delivery. He was treated with cooling therapy, a treatment borne out of a 20 year programme of research, to which Action contributed.
“Aiden is getting a chance at life thanks to Action’s research. We want to ensure others get the same chance and so we have decided to leave a legacy in our wills. This is our way to continue to give back once we're gone and continue to help others.”
June Moore - Friendship, fish and chips and the future
Action’s Committee Members are often our unsung heroes, or heroines. Take June Moore who joined the Stone Committee, near Aylesbury, 25 years ago.
June built-up close, lifelong friendships with other Committee Members and shared a sense of fun and pride in what they achieved together. June also loved the social contact; browsing round garden centres and appreciating trips out to enjoy the countryside.
Being part of the Committee became a real focal point in her life; she enjoyed the weekly craft meetings and helping at functions. June also looked forward to her weekly treat of a lovely fish and chip lunch.
Sadly, June died in 2012, and surprised her fellow Committee Members by leaving Action a gift in her will. June had never mentioned her intention to remember us in this very special way, but she chose to leave this precious gift because saving and changing babies’ and children’s lives really mattered to her.
Thank you June; your kind-hearted generosity will help children for generations to come.
Having worked and volunteered for Action Medical Research for many years I know of the wonderful research that is funded by the charity. The polio vaccine and the cooling caps for premature babies come to mind as some of the amazing achievements. It felt only right when making my will that I included a legacy gift to Action Medical Research and I feel very proud to have done this.
How Mr Walkinshaw has made a lasting difference
In 2009 Gordon Walkinshaw, an Action supporter based in Lochwinnoch in Paisley wanted to make a real difference in the field of genetic research and so decided to leave a legacy gift in his will. His generous gift has funded no fewer than four Research Training Fellowships, investigating genetic changes causing blindness in children, and looking at the genetic basis of childhood diseases and disorders.
One child who has benefited directly from Gordon’s generosity is Jack, who was born with a genetic condition called primary aphakia. Jack’s condition was the result of both his parents, Sally and Al, carrying very rare changes in the same gene. A hi-tech ultrasound scan with specialist equipment confirmed that Jack had no iris in his eyes, no lenses and his corneas were very thin. It was also confirmed he had glaucoma, which was putting pressure on his eyes and meant he needed operations.
The family found out what caused Jack’s condition thanks to Dr Lily Islam, who set about finding better ways to tackle childhood blindness using the Walkinshaw Research Training Fellowship.
Dr Islam’s work led to new genetic tests, one of which was approved by the UK Genetic Testing Network and is offered nationally. The impact of this work was immediate and some tests were used in diagnostic settings almost immediately after the project was completed. By the end of the study over 50 children and their families had already benefitted from being able to understand the cause of their visual impairment more fully.
In the 1980s Anne and Stuart’s disabled son Paul was the youngest person in the UK to benefit from a revolutionary walking device, called a Reciprocating Gait Orthosis (RGO), which was developed with funding from Action. Sadly, Paul died suddenly at just 14 but Anne and Stuart say they are left with the most amazing memories and his legacy lives on in many ways.
“For us it’s a given that we will include Action in our wills. The charity holds a very special place in our hearts. We feel proud to know that the gift we leave behind will help fund the type of breakthroughs that made a real difference to Paul’s life”.
When rewriting my Will recently, it seemed entirely natural to leave a gift to Action Medical Research. Having been involved with this wonderful charity for more than 30 years, I know how every penny counts and every penny is put to good use. Sadly, many very worthwhile research projects have to be turned away for lack of funding, so I feel very happy to know that my gift will continue to help with such important work into the future.