CANCER survivor Molly Crawford is today launching a new campaign to fund more scientific research in the city.
The 12-year-old Matthew Arnold School pupil was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia just before her third birthday in 2005.
She endured two years of steroid treatment, blood transfusions, emergency operations and gruelling chemotherapy – in which she lost her hair – but was given the all-clear two years ago. Now Molly, from Brogden Close, North Hinksey, is helping to launch Oxford Against Cancer – a Cancer Research UK campaign to encourage people to support cutting-edge research in Oxford.
Molly, sister to Jordan, 15, said of her time in hospital: “It doesn’t feel real. I don’t remember the big details but I remember little things like the needles and injections. I’m really grateful that I am here.”
- TOUGH TIMES: Molly aged four undergoing chemotherapy
Asked what she wants to do when she is older, she said she hopes to be a paediatric nurse and added: “I would love to work in the John Radcliffe where I was treated and survived. So it would be a nice experience to work there.”
Her parents, Claire and Richard, are full of praise for the doctors and nurses who looked after their little girl.
Mrs Crawford, 39, said: “We always tried to keep life as normal as possible for Molly when she was having treatment.
“We were always having to go to hospital in the middle of the night if anything happened at all, such as a high temperature, as that could mean an infection and while she was being treated, she just couldn’t fight infections.
“We are fortunate that most of her memories are positive.
“Ours are very different, but we are very lucky to have her here. She is very special to us.”
Twelve people in Oxford are told every day they have cancer, and five people die in the city from the disease every day.
Cancer Research UK has spent more than £120m in the past five years on leading scientific and clinical research in Oxford.
Just £10 buys enough glass slides for a scientist to examine 454 tumour samples with a microscope and £30 enables a man to take part in a one-year study looking at different treatment combinations for prostate cancer victims.
The charity’s Oxfordshire spokeswoman Helen Johnstone said: “Oxford is home to a state-of-the-art centre aiming to improve cancer diagnosis, treatment and monitoring.
“Research happening right now in Oxford will bring forward the day when all cancers are cured. Support from people in Oxfordshire will secure its future.”
All money raised in the Oxford-based charity drive, one of only two of its kind in the country, will fund projects here in the county.
The John Radcliffe Hospital’s work includes looking at whether children with a type of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma could safely be given less chemotherapy, or even none at all, to make treatment kinder to them.
Cancer Research UK’s Institute in Oxford is also a world-renowned centre for radiotherapy research.
Professor Tim Maughan, of Oxford University and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, is an expert on bowel cancers and is chief investigator into a new clinical trial, FOCUS4, which tests treatments for different subtypes of the disease.
- To help fund lifesaving research text OXFORD to 70080 to give £3 or visit cruk.org to get involved
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