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Fundraisers hit the heights at the Cambridge Guildhall

Forty fundraisers braved blustery conditions to abseil down the Guildhall at the weekend and raise money for Cancer Research UK.

The children and adults raised about £10,000 for the Cambridge Independent-backed Rapid Scan Appeal, which is funding a clinical study at Addenbrooke’s of an imaging technique that allows doctors to determine whether a cancer treatment is working for patients within days, rather than weeks or months.

It will mean treatment can be changed and personalised rapidly, giving patients a greater chance of survival. So far, the appeal has raised £80,000 towards the £100,000 required.

Among those taking part on Saturday (March 9) was Maria Briggs, the Cambridge Independent’s events manager. She said: “Anything challenging is something that I enjoy doing, so that’s why I wanted to do it – and it’s for a great cause.

“I managed to raise £425, for which I would mostly like to thank Histon Football Club because a lot of their fans supported me in this fundraising – especially after I mentioned I was doing the abseil in a pink Power Rangers suit!”

Also taking part were pupils from The Perse School. One, Bianca, said: “In 2017, I found out that my cousin was diagnosed with stage II Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, at this point he was only 15, so about a year older than me.

"He is like a brother to me and we are really close, so this was a huge blow. He had a growth on his neck about the size of a potato, which couldn’t be surgically removed because of the blood vessels near it, so this only really left chemotherapy as an option.

"He underwent three rounds in a clinical trial and thankfully this worked so he needed no further radiation on top of it. By 2018, he was in remission and is now perfectly healthy and living life at its best.

“This was an extremely hard time for our family and I am so incredibly grateful that the clinical trial was a success. It was funded by Bloodwise but also backed by Cancer Research, so this is why I signed up to do the abseil with no hesitation.”

A flashmob on the day, co-ordinated by Steph Baudino from Better Cambridge, helped raise £650 from collections and featured dancers dressed as scientists in lab coats.

Gill Burgess, of Cancer Research UK, said: “Huge thanks to the Guildhall, Cambridge City Council, the Cambridge Independent, Better Cambridge, EPM, The Perse School and Cambridge RAG for their support.

“There’s still time to get involved and support us in reaching our target.”

Donations can be made online at https://bit.ly/2Em3d8K or by sending a cheque to Cancer Research UK, PO Box 1561, Oxford OX4 9GZ (quoting reference N17CAM).

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