Liverpool scientist is boxing clever for Stand Up To Cancer

Photo by Paul Heyes

A LIVERPOOL cancer researcher is rallying people in Merseyside to Stand Up To Cancer and help save lives.

Claire Armstrong, 24, who works at the University of Liverpool, donned a pair of bright orange boxing gloves to encourage men and women to strike a blow against cancer by raising money for vital research.

Every hour, around five people are diagnosed with cancer in the North West. 

Claire, who was inspired to work with Cancer Research UK after losing her dad Malcolm to cancer, is urging everyone to join him and Stand Up To Cancer, to support life-saving research.

Stand Up To Cancer unites scientists, celebrities and communities. It’s supported by a host of stars including Davina McCall, Edith Bowman, Alan Carr, Joel Dommett and Kirsty Allsopp.

Money raised for Stand Up To Cancer helps take developments from the lab and transform them, quickly, into brand new tests and treatments for cancer patients. 

Claire, from Eccleston, St Helens, who attended Rainford High Technology and Bleakhill Primary before taking A-levels in maths, chemistry, biology and physics at Winstanley College, said: “Research is cancer’s number one enemy. Stand Up To Cancer helps fund clinical trials and research projects which pack a punch in the fight against the disease.

“This research is crucial, but also very expensive. That’s why I’m calling on the county’s fundraisers to get fighting fit and help doctors and scientists speed through breakthroughs for the benefit of cancer patients in the North West and across the UK.”

Since it was launched in the UK in 2012, Stand Up To Cancer has raised over £38 million to support life-saving research.

This includes the development of the ‘chemo-package’ to deliver treatment at the best time for the patient; investigations into whether exercise can prevent cancer from returning and using MRI to turn radiotherapy into a more precise, personalised and powerful anti-cancer weapon.

Claire works as a Cancer Research UK-funded scientist carrying out research into bowel cancer in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Liverpool and knows how important fundraising campaigns like Stand Up To Cancer are to help fund vital research. 

Claire is part of a team developing a way to create drug-carrying particles in order to improve the way chemotherapy drugs are carried around the body. In doing so, the team hope to avoid getting healthy tissue caught in the cross-fire of the treatment, reducing the side effects.

Claire said: “In my second year at University my Dad was diagnosed with a type of lung cancer. By my fourth year he had passed away and he never got to see me graduate.

“It was just after he died the opportunity came up to apply for a PhD funded by Cancer Research UK and after seeing how cancer had affected my dad it just felt like the right thing to do.

“I think he’d love it to see me now. He’d be incredibly proud to know he’s helped to motivate me to pursue a career to help others. I want to give something back for the treatment he received.

“When I meet people who have lost a loved-one to cancer or been affected by cancer I know what it is like and it’s my goal to help to find more treatments and kinder treatments so that less families have to go through what my family did then that’s my goal.”

Claire added: “When it comes to cancer we need to box clever. By boosting funding right now, the best research teams will be able to develop innovative new treatments, bring cures faster and save more lives.”

Alison Barbuti, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for the North West, said: “It’s time to make a stand and get payback on cancer for all the people whose lives have been cut short by this devastating disease.

“There are lots of fun ways to join the fight. You can get creative in the kitchen, get sponsored to stand out in orange at work or school or take part in a sponsored wax or head shave. A free fundraising pack is available, full of fun and creative ways to conjure up crucial cash.”

She continued: “We are in a ‘golden age’ for cancer research and every pound raised by Stand Up To Cancer takes us a step closer to beating the disease. We will never throw in the towel. We believe this is a fight that we can win.”

People in the North West can also show their support for the campaign in style as a fun range of clothing and accessories for men, women and children is available now online and at Cancer Research UK shops from late September.

Stand Up To Cancer will culminate with an unforgettable night of live television on Friday, October 26.

To get involved visit standuptocancer.org.uk