The event, which takes cyclists from
Bristol and Bath to London, began in
1982. This year, cyclists ranged in age
from twelve to 76, and sponsorship is
hoped to total £75,000, adding to the
staggering £850,000 raised by Action100
cyclists since the
This year’s event boasted a glittering
array of lady professionals and celebrities,
as well as many Avanti customers,
building on last year’s very successful
Celebrity Am Golf Day which raised
This year’s impressive fundraising
achievements mean Avanti are well on
track to break their ambitious target of
raising £50,000 for Action Medical
Research by 2007.
Elbow fractures are very common, and in
severe cases may cause an unstable
elbow.This instability is difficult to treat
and can mean pain, disability and even the
early development of arthritis. Also, surgery
for elbow fractures may itself lead to
elbow instability, as damage may occur to
elbow ligaments which hold the bones in
position and provide stability to the joint.
You may recall reading about Dr Jane
Warren’s study in Touching Lives last year.
We reported on the exciting mid-way
results of her research into aphasia —
difficulty with speech and comprehension,
often resulting from stroke. In fact,
aphasia affects around a quarter of all
Professor Wolff has come a long way
since his associations with Action Medical
Research began; in 1983 we awarded
him funding to establish the Institute of
Bioengineering at Brunel — in a Portakabin!
Heinz and his team worked from there
for three years before relocating to a
more permanent structure on the
Professor Wolff is a keen supporter
of this charity, among many other things,
simplifying science for our readers
through his Jargon Busters column.
The Three Peaks Challenge (7th — 8th
July) is an event for teams of four to six,
including a driver. Adventurous supporters
attempt to take the Charity’s mascot,
Paddington Bear, to the top of the three
highest mountains in Scotland, England
and Wales in just 24 hours.
Teams are responsible for their own
transport between the mountains — Ben
Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon — and
must raise a minimum of £1,800 for
Action Medical Research.
Event sponsor VT Shipbuilding showed their dedication to the cause with more than 30 employees taking part. Among them was Steve Kelsall, who took to the stage with his family to share his experiences of premature birth with Davina and the crowd. His eldest daughter, Olivia, was born three months early, weighing only 2lbs 4oz. Thankfully she is now a
healthy and energetic five-year-old.
With no history of muscular or skeletal problems in his family, he sought help
from doctors and physiotherapists, but it
wasn’t until he was 21 that he got a
diagnosis of muscular dystrophy — a
progressive weakening and wasting of the
muscles, and a condition for which there
is currently no cure.
Mark is one of about 30,000 people
in the UK living with a neuromuscular
condition like muscular dystrophy. Some
are affected as very young children but
others, like Mark, have no symptoms at all
until they reach adulthood.
There is no cure for the flu. It is a major cause of illness and its
well-known symptoms can be extremely debilitating, even for
the most resilient amongst us.
More vulnerable people, such as the elderly, are at risk of
developing serious complications, including pneumonia, and sadly,
many go on to lose their lives to the flu. In an average year it
leads to around 1,000 deaths, but during the epidemic of 1989,
27,000 people died as a result of catching the flu.
This is an exciting new programme
dedicated to targeted funding of medical
advances in three core areas — Touching
Tiny Lives, Stopping Suffering in Children
and Preventing the Pain of Chronic
Diseases and Conditions.
Our longest-established cycling event,
Action100, deserves a special mention, as
it celebrated its silver jubilee this year,
marking 25 years of successful cycling for
the Charity. In 2007 bike events will be
even bigger and better. We hope to see
many familiar Touching Lives readers —
and some new ones too! — back in the
saddle, taking action for medical research.
The last few months have provided Action
Medical Research with a huge amount of
publicity — nationally and locally — achieving
a staggering half-a-million pounds in
equivalent advertising value!
The thyroid gland — the body’s stoker
The thyroid gland is located, roughly
speaking, in the bow tie position at the
base of the neck, below the voice box.
It produces a variety of hormones, of
which thyroxine is the most important.
Its chemical composition is known and it
can now be made synthetically.
As a charity that demonstrates excellence
in the way it fundraises, Action Medical
Research has signed up to become a
founder member of the FSB scheme. By
doing so we are indicating that we adhere
to the Institute of Fundraising’s Code of
Fundraising Practice and the FSB Donors’
Charter, and that we have a robust
system in place to handle any queries
or complaints that may be raised by
supporters or potential supporters.
How did you become involved in
this area of medical research?
I qualified as a doctor in Australia, began
training as an ophthalmologist in 2000,
and moved to England in 2004 to do
a fellowship in cornea and external
disease. This led to the PhD project I
am working on during my research
Migraine is the most common neurological
condition in the developed world, more
widespread than diabetes, epilepsy and
asthma combined. It affects more than
15 per cent of people in the UK, and,
while some might only suffer one or
two migraines in a year, others may have
to deal with several migraine attacks a
week, making everyday life and routine
almost impossible. The World Health
Organisation lists migraine among the top
20 most disabling lifetime conditions.
What exactly is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is a
type of depression that affects people
during the autumn and winter months.
It is attributed to a lack of daylight, which
is why symptoms begin to appear as the
days are drawing in. Some people only
exhibit mild symptoms, known as ‘winter
blues’, but for those who suffer the
more severe effects, it can be seriously
debilitating and disruptive to daily life.
This work is so important, and so urgently needed. Every year a staggering one in ten of all babies in the UK — around 70,000 — need special medical care when they are born. Tragically, more than 3,000 babies die before they reach their first birthday, and premature birth is the single biggest cause. Many more have to cope with cerebral palsy, learning difficulties or other problems for the rest of their lives. Doctors still do not fully understand what causes premature birth, and as yet there are no effective treatments to prevent premature labour.
Many of us associate spinal cord
injury with paralysis — the loss of
the use of our arms or legs, or
But recent research has shown that many
of the 40,000 people living with this kind
of injury actually consider bowel incontinence
the most devastating consequence
of damaging their spine, rating it as having
a greater impact on quality of life than
losing the ability to walk.
How did you
involved for so
long now that
it’s hard to remember. It would either
have been through my career in nursing,
or the Guildford Club for the Disabled,
for whom I volunteered for many years.
Why made you decide to support
My mother was an active member of
the Shaftsbury Society Home in
Bournemouth, so I had been around
disabled children as a child. Action
Medical Research was working hard to
help such children at the time.