Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Prostate Cancer Charity announces £1million 'Love Train' John O'Groats to Land's End Walk to help save 10,000 lives


The Prostate Project, a rapidly growing, patient led, prostate cancer charity that has raised nearly £6 million in the last 13 years, today announces a major new fundraising drive to help save more of the 10,000 lives that are lost every year to prostate cancer.

The Love Train £1 million Appeal launches on March 21st with a 1000 mile John O’Groats to Land’s End walk. Leading the epic walk will be Alan Carr MBE, a well known charity fundraiser, his daughter, Charlotte (whose idea the walk was) and Nigel Lewis-Baker, a trustee of the Prostate Project and a walking miracle who was diagnosed with advanced, incurable prostate cancer 6 years ago.

He has become one of the UK’s leading cancer fundraisers. He is a cancer champion for Macmillan Cancer Support and ‘Ambassador for the Year’ for CRUK. “It’s too late for me” said Nigel, “but diagnosed early prostate cancer can be very successfully treated with a more than 80% chance of a complete cure. It is vital that we get this message across to as many men as possible as we trek down country and encourage them to have a routine PSA test once they reach the age of 50.”


Founded in 1998, the Prostate Project jointly funds one of the most dynamic and successful research teams in the world at the University of Surrey. They have brought together a world-class team of clinicians, scientists, specialist nurses and technicians who have earned an international reputation for excellence in the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. This close working relationship between clinical and laboratory personnel is rare in the world of cancer research.

Some of their discoveries are mind boggling in their complexity yet shocking in their simplicity. A simple protein that will ‘switch off’ cancer cells and cause their death, a new vaccine that can seek and destroy cancer cells, a virus that can replicate itself inside cancer cells causing them to burst and die, and a protein called EN2 discovered in urine that can detect cancer cells 50% more accurately than the current 30 year old PSA test.

These, together with other clinical and research achievements are resulting in diagnostic and treatment discoveries that will bring significant benefits to patients within the next 2 years - quite possibly within months. Now, they need to provide the team as a whole with a vital component that is currently missing - a model world-class NHS Urology Centre.

The key to the success of the walk is the extent to which the Charity can engage with local communities and local/regional media (press, radio and tv) at each of the cities, towns and villages along the route and encourage them to fundraise in advance of the Love Train arriving in their town. Strong support has already come from Rotary, Lions Clubs and the Masons and the Charity is confident that more publicity will result in many clubs, groups and individuals organizing their own fundraising events and presenting donations to the Love Train as it travels through their area.

The Charity prides itself in having administration costs of less than 3% – far below the average 20% lost to administration by most UK charities. 97 pence in every pound donated goes directly to the point of need with an added 19.4 pence if the donation is gift aided. Colin Stokes, Chairman and joint founder said “We have a simple philosophy – to raise as much as we can, spend as little as we can, and deliver diagnostic and treatment advances that give men a better chance of beating prostate cancer”.

Three further events are planned as part of the Love Train Appeal, a Diamond Jubilee Ball at Ascot racecourse on 29th September 2012, a Valentine’s Dinner Dance on board the Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh on 16th February 2013 and a fundraising project to improve the lives of Brazil’s poor children in October 2013. For more information about the Love Train Walk or any aspect of the charity’s work please visit the Love Train website at: www.lovetrain.org.uk - the charity’s website at www.prostate-project.org.uk or contact Tim Sharp or any of the Love Train team.

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