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State-of-the-art laboratory at Addenbrooke's is lasting tribute to brave Lisa

By Gemma Gardner

Red Wellies charity raises money for a new laboratory at Addenbrookes Hospital
Red Wellies charity raises money for a new laboratory at Addenbrookes Hospital

A state-of-the-art laboratory that will help neurosurgeons research brain tumours has opened at Addenbrooke's.

The lab, next to the neurosciences operating theatres, has been named in memory of Lisa Wiles, who started fundraising during her 14-month battle with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).

Her parents, Mervyn and Rosalie Wiles, started the charity Red Wellies in 2012 to carry on her work and help patients in the region affected by brain tumours. It helped to fund the new laboratory.

Mervyn, who attended the launch on Thursday, said: “Today is a very emotional day – to see all the equipment in the lab that has been made possible by our generous supporters and the hard work of everyone involved with the charity.

“Lisa would be very proud that this lab, funded in her memory, could improve the outcomes of people with brain tumours.

“Funding for research into brain tumours falls way behind many other cancers and that is why we started Red Wellies – to help other people and ensure Lisa’s legacy lives on.”

Along with other trustees of the charity, Mervyn and Rosalie presented their latest cheque of £60,000 to consultant neurosurgeon Stephen Price and neurosurgical registrar Richard Mair, a clinical lecturer at the University of Cambridge who will head the laboratory.

The lab will primarily examine the genomics of brain tumours, in particular glioblastomas, and how understanding genomic diversity can further target treatments and identify treatment response.

Mr Mair added: “Everyone in the neurosurgery department at Addenbrooke’s is hugely grateful to Mervyn and Rosalie and everyone involved with the Red Wellies charity for making this lab possible – it’s an incredible effort.

“We are all inspired and humbled that we will be carrying out research in a lab named in Lisa’s honour.

“The proximity of the lab to the neurosurgical operating theatre makes it unique and ensures that any tissue samples taken are of the highest quality, which will aid the research.”

The charity is called Red Wellies because Lisa had a pair of red wellies as a child which she adored.

To find out more about the charity or to donate, visit redwellies.org.uk.


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