Lucy Kerr will use her stint wearing the Miss Scotland crown to help save and change the lives of sick and disabled babies and children.
The 19-year-old, from Bearsden, Glasgow, has pledged to raise funds for UK children’s charity Action Medical Research during her reign.
Lucy hopes to raise up to £50,000 to support a study in Glasgow to develop new and improved treatments for neuroblastoma, a type of cancer which starts in the nerve cells.
Around 100 children are diagnosed with neuroblastoma each year in the UK1,2. Most are young – less than five years old3,4 – and although treatment often proves life-saving, it has side effects and doesn’t always work. Sadly around a third of children lose their lives within five years of being diagnosed with neuroblastoma4.
Professor Robert Mairs, of the University of Glasgow’s Institute of Cancer Sciences, is developing a new combination treatment in the hope of reducing the suffering that is associated with side effects and saving more children’s lives.
On Monday, 3 October, Lucy visited Professor Mairs at the Wolfson Wohl Cancer Research Centre to see first-hand the work being funded by Action Medical Research.
“I have chosen to support this charity because cancer has affected members in my family and is very close to my heart. To see anyone suffer is truly heartbreaking and I feel that it is so important that we fund research like Professor Mairs' as children have so much more life to live,” she says.
For more than 60 years Action Medical Research has helped pioneer treatments and ways to prevent disease that have benefited millions of people in the UK and across the world. Research they’ve funded has helped to beat polio in the UK, develop ultrasound in pregnancy, fight meningitis and prevent stillbirths.
Action Medical Research is currently funding research into meningitis, Down syndrome, epilepsy and premature birth, as well as some rare and distressing conditions that severely affect children.
“Medical research for children is underfunded in the UK. For every project the charity funds there’s another one we have to turn away – simply because of a lack of funds,” says Janet Balcombe, Action Medical Research's Community Fundraising Manager in Scotland.
“There are hundreds of thousands of children in the UK whose lives are devastated by disease and disability. We need support to fund vital research to develop new treatments and cures for sick babies and children which is why support like Lucy's is so important to us.”
To find out more about Action Medical Research, please visit action.org.uk
- ENDS –
- NHS Choices. Neuroblastoma. http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/neuroblastoma/Pages/Introduction.aspx Website accessed 25 June 2014.
- The Neuroblastoma Society. Home page. http://neuroblastoma.org.uk/ Website accessed 25 June 2014.
- The Neuroblastoma Society. Neuroblastoma FAQs. http://neuroblastoma.org.uk/families/neuroblastoma-faqs/ Website accessed 30 June 2014.
- Cancer Research UK. Childhood cancer survival statistics. http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/cancerstats/childhoodcancer/... Website accessed 16 September 2014.
To download high-res images of Lucy Kerr, please click on the links below (CREDIT ANDREW BARR) –
NOTES TO EDITORS:
For more information on Action Medical Research, please contact Ellie Evans, Fundraising Communications Officer, on:
T 01403 327480
Action Medical Research is a leading UK-wide charity saving and changing children’s lives through medical research. For more than 60 years we’ve helped pioneer ways to prevent disease and develop treatments benefiting millions of people. Our research has helped to beat polio in the UK, develop ultrasound, fight meningitis and prevent stillbirths. But we urgently need to develop more new treatments and cures for sick babies and children and we can’t do it without you.
Join our fight for little lives today.
Charity reg. nos 208701 and SC039284.