May 2015
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Newsletter  May 2015


A very warm welcome to our latest newsletter and a sincere thank you to everyone who continues to support our cause.  

Thanks to your generosity and on behalf of everyone who supports us we are making arrangements to present the Oncology Research Team at the Royal Marsden Hospital with a cheque for another incredible £10,000 !!! Thank you all so very much for all your contributions both in time and money. We are so very grateful. 

Amanda Heaton (below) says in her letter of thanks to us:

Dear Robert

I was delighted to hear that you have raised the amazing sum of £10,000 for Dr Frank Saran’s Research Fund through a variety of fundraising initiatives.  Words cannot express how grateful we are to you and your team of hard working and dedicated supporters as I know and appreciate how much time and effort goes into raising funds.

The research work at the Royal Marsden is ongoing and we never cease to be amazed at their dedication and continued quest. They are at the cutting edge of research into brain cancer and all the money raised for us continues to be  directed towards research into Glioblastoma. It is reassuring to know that virtually every penny of the money raised is going to where we feel it is most needed and we know is being used wisely.  The specialist nurse we are also helping to sponsor is now working with glioblastoma patients and their families offering informed, practical hands on support where it is much needed. Being able to talk to someone who understands what you are going through when diagnosed with a brain tumour, has time to listen and, most importantly, someone who knows the nature of the disease can make a world of difference to patients and to their families.

Dr Frank Saran, Consultant Clinical Oncologist and Head of Neuro-Oncology at The Royal Marsden has given us his latest progress report:

Dear Team and supporters,

The Neuro Oncology Research Department at the Royal Marsden are very grateful to have the continued support of the Alison Fracella Research Trust. Over the past number of years, the Trust’s substantial contributions have helped to fund a interdepartmental research fellow and has supported our participation in national and international clinical trials. We are delighted to have the opportunity update the Trust on recent progress.

As you are all aware, the options for patients with newly diagnmosed and recurrent high garde gliomas are few. At the Royal Marsden we are in a unique environment to have regular access to phase I trials, through the Drug Development Unit and phase II and III clinical trials in conjunction with our neuro-oncology unit. Over the past year, we have been able to offer patients access to several novel experimental drugs, including immune therapies. This year we look forward to opening a new study in collaboration with our colleagues across the UK which will expand the treatment options for newly diagnosed elderly patients whose treatment poses particular difficulties.

The Neuro Oncology Research Department continues to participate in several international multicentre trials. These allow us to offer our patients treatment options beyond the current standard of care, with a dedicated clinical fellow for these patients throughout their care.

This July will see the changeover of our research fellow who is the key to a seamless link of preclinical information, clinical trials and patients with primary brain tumours across the diversity of clinical departments involved in the care for these patients. Dr Scheryll Alken has been here for two years and has been a tremendous asset to the department and the patients. With great regret following completion fo her contract we will have to let her return to Ireland to further her oncology training but are sure that is not the last the neuro-oncology community has seen of her. We are very pleased to announce that there will be a seamless transition to our new fellow who will arrive in July.

Early this year, the Neuro Oncology Research Department welcomed a new consultant appointment to the Neuro Oncology Unit, Dr Liam Welsh. Dr Welsh completed his oncology training at the Royal Marsden and has a research interest in the use of advanced imaging to predict tumour behaviour.

With the support of the trust, we are collaborating with our colleagues in St George’s Hospital and the Institute of Cancer Research to create a brain tumour tissue bank as well as expanding our portfolio to investigate new hypotheses in a preclinical setting via several newly appointed clinicians at the ICR with a track record in brain tumour research. This will provide us with the opportunity for extensive translational research, including the investigation of novel targeted agents for patients with glioblastoma. 

Over the next year, we aim to increase the options for our patients by increasing the number of trials available. We continue to work with colleagues in the Institute of Cancer Research to identify potential targets for treatment. The work of the Alison Fracella Research Trust continues to be a instrumental to take preclinical developments to the clinic and benefit directly patients with malignant brain tumours on a regular basis.



Kern Death (right) Mark Oxford (centre) and James Baylham on completion of the London Revolution last year, an incredible achievement by them all. After Gift Aid was added in the amount raised for us last year by Kern with the support of James has totalled an amazing  £502.75  for which we extend our grateful thanks.

Many Congratulations from us all at the Trust to James and Sarah on their recent wedding. We wish them every future happiness together.


A very big thank you to Karin Wheals and the Suffolk Lacemakers for their support in donating a very generous £202 to the Trust and for organising a raffle for us at their meeting in February-- very much appreciated, thank you.


Our monthly lottery continues to raise a considerable amount for us each year. Thank you very much to everyone who continues to support us through having a ticket (subs due again very soon!) and also to the kind people who have donated their winnings back to the Trust. Hurray as, at last, several of the numbers that previously have never put in an appearance as the winning bonus ball numbers in the National Lottery every first Saturday have now done so! Congratulations especially to those people and our thanks for staying with us!


A very big thank you to everyone who supported us in so many ways at our Quiz Night on November 29th helping, once again, to make the occasion such a success.

The Ansell Centre was once again packed for the event and everyone said that the evening was really enjoyable and great fun. The ploughman’s supper was a big hit with everyone too! On the night, after expenses, we raised an amazing £1,466 which was divided between our two charities.

A huge thank you to Avis Printers for once again printing our tickets and for selling them for us in the shop. Many thanks also to the many local businesses and people who were so generous in their donations of the many fantastic raffle prizes. Special thanks to Sue and Roy for all their help and to Amber for running the raffle so well. A big thank you to Mark David for his donation of a full day course at the Cooking Experience, to Hadleigh Tyres and to Greggs Bakers for their donation of the bread rolls for the supper.

It was great to have the support of so many old friends and also to welcome so many new faces too. Thank you all so very much. The provisional date for our 2015 Quiz is  Saturday 21st November. Please save the date in your diaries!

Our barmen Rob & Roy take a welcome break!  You can’t see the bottle tops and wine glasses! We were able to keep up standards with a very nice red and white wine.  In addition bottles of beer, soft drinks and bottles of water were also available because quizzes are thirsty work! They were both kept extremely busy keeping up with the demand! (They are both sporting our latest AFRT polo shirts!)
Thanks to the generosity of many people there were some lovely raffle prizes available to win. Who could resist buying tickets from Amber who worked very hard to promote sales.  Amber raised an incredible £457 on the night.

The Winning Team

“It was a fantastic evening, lots of fun” “We’ve reserved our tickets for next year”


Helen Golland of the award winning teashop Angel Delights in Hadleigh High Street

A huge thank you must go to Helen Golland of Angel Delights, the award winning teashop in Hadleigh High Street, for organising a Cream Tea Event in the Ansell Centre on the afternoon of Saturday the 21st June. The event was in support of the Alison Fracella Research Trust who are raising money for brain tumour research at the Royal Marsden Hospital. The afternoon was a real success thanks to the hard work of Helen and her team - her Mum and Dad Sheila and Ken Parkin, her niece Madeline and Shelly, who were both super waitresses. They served 90 cream teas ! Helen’s home- made scones (freshly made by her that morning) were declared delicious by everyone. The hall looked amazing with all the finishing touches - the beautiful tablecloths, the vintage china, the cake stands and the bunting decorating the hall.
It was a wonderful afternoon with lots of fun and laughter. A very big thank you to everyone who came to support us and to all the many people who made the mouth- watering cakes for us to sell.  A special thank you to Sue and Roy and to Maria for everything they did to help make the event so successful. Our cake stall and donations raised £236 and ticket sales, before the deduction of expenses, made an amazing £511. A huge thank you from us all at the Trust to Helen for all her hard work on our behalf and for her generosity and kindness.


Last December we were one of three charities selected to participate in the Christmas Community Matters collection at the Waitrose store in Futura Park Ipswich. This year we went to a cheque presentation and received a very welcome £300. Thank you Waitrose and to all the people who posted their green tokens in our box.

Last but by no means least we would like to say a very big thank you for the many donations received from far and wide during the year for which the Trust is extremely grateful. All monies go towards the project we are helping to fund at the Royal Marsden Hospital. Our administration costs are negligible.  Let’s hope and pray that one day the missing piece of the jigsaw will be found.

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