A charity is to give £150,000 towards a research project into the rare cancer which claimed the life of five-year-old Niamh Curry.
Niamh’s Next Step has just announced it is putting £150,000 towards a two-year project looking at new ways to kill neuroblastoma cells, the childhood cancer which Niamh died from in May 2012 after an 18-month fight.
Her parents Sam and Chris Curry set up the charity less than two years ago and are thrilled they can let people see how their money is being used.
Niamh’s dad Chris said: “We are really pleased to be doing something like this.
“It’s a huge amount of money, and for it to be our first main project within 19 months of starting up is really good. This is what we set up to do.”
Chris and Sam, of Wellingborough, recently met Professor Deborah Tweddle and her team at the Institute of Cancer Research at Newcastle University to learn more about the £300,000 project, which the charity is funding jointly with the Neuroblastoma Society.
The team will be looking at new ways to kill cancer cells while minimising the unwanted effects on normal cells, with the aim of developing new cancer therapies for children with neuroblastoma.
Chris said: “There’s all sorts of research into neuroblastoma but this is a new highly recommended research project.
“We met the team and they took us on a tour of the laboratories, it’s an amazing site.
“There’s a team of about six or seven so you have got a team of chemists designing the drugs that these girls are going to use on the cells.
“You have got the biologists there too, there’s all sorts of little teams working.”
He added: “I looked down the telescope and looked at neuroblastoma cells, the cells which killed Niamh – it was really difficult to do. It showed us three sorts of cells and how quickly these cells multiply.
“It wasn’t nice to look at but it’s good to know what we are fighting against.”
Chris is looking forward to seeing the project progress, saying: “It’s absolutely fantastic, but this is just a start, we need to build on it.”
Find out more online
To keep up to date with Professor Tweddle and her team’s research work, you can follow the blog at www.niamhsnextstep.com.
The charity website also has details about future events.
Chris said: “We have got some amazing support and some amazing events coming up.”