My wife Angela and I first became aware of the Bone Cancer Research Trust’s work during my son Alex’s battle with Osteosarcoma. He had a late diagnosis, and as a result the tumour had metastasised to his lungs. He endured four years of operations, chemotherapy, radiology, and alternative therapy with amazing bravery and positivity.
The BBC made an inspirational film about our son 'Alex: A Life Fast Forward'. It aimed to increase awareness of primary bone cancer in the hope that others would seek early diagnosis, and that outcomes might be improved. The film also showed that you can deal with misfortune and still enjoy your life. Alex sadly died in 2011, 5 days after his marriage to Ali and his 22nd birthday. Essentially, we want to pursue his wishes through the Bone Cancer Research Trust and are committed to finding a cure for a disease which affects people in such a cruel way.
Founder and Trustee
My son, Anthony, was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in April 2001. He started fundraising whilst going through his treatment. Sadly he lost his battle in October 2002. After his death, I continued with his fundraising and registered the Anthony Pilcher Bone Cancer Trust.
I am incredibly proud to also be a founder and active trustee of the Bone Cancer Research Trust. Anthony wanted to ensure that at some stage in the future, children and young adults would have earlier diagnosis, better drugs and improved survival rates. I will endeavour to carry out his wishes (and mine) to the best possible end.
Becoming a trustee for a charity was not something I had thought much about until an email arrived one day from the Bone Cancer Research Trust seeking a new trustee. At this time I had been working with patients with primary bone cancer (PBC), managing both surgical and oncology support, and helping navigate the difficult treatment pathways and emotional rollercoaster that comes with fighting a diagnosis of PBC.
I joined the board of the Bone Cancer Research Trust in November 2014 and have become more and more involved with the ‘mechanics’ of the charity and its wonderful team. I moved to research in 2013, developing and executing a biobank sarcoma tumour tissue collection. In this time have developed further my understanding of this rarer cancer and how it ticks. Now retired, I want to continue working with the charity to drive forward the exciting research and bio-banking projects in progress. These are exciting times...
My daughter Claudia lost her battle with a Ewing sarcoma in June 2006, shortly after her 17th Birthday. I became involved with the Bone Cancer Research Trust after Claudia found details of a Golf Day, run by the Adam Dealey Foundation in support of primary bone cancer. After playing in the Golf Day to help raise funds and awareness, I volunteered to become a Trustee. My wife Gail and I have since attended Bone Cancer Research Trust conferences and supported the charity’s vital work wherever we can. I duly became a Trustee in late 2008.
My involvement with the Bone Cancer Research Trust stems from my son Alexander being diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in December 2005. Al embraced the treatment offered to him and with a very positive outlook went on his own cancer journey. Sadly the treatment and drugs available did not cure him and his journey ended in November 2007. He was 16 years old.
I have committed myself to support those who work to establish how the disease begins, why specific individuals develop the disease, promote earlier diagnosis and through research develop more robust and successful treatments. I do not want others in the future to suffer as Al did, or endure the loss we suffer as a family.
I became involved with BCRT after my youngest son died in
2007 as a result of a Ewing sarcoma that was misdiagnosed. I've raised funds
through sponsored runs, photographed some events and advised BCRT on marketing.
My previous work as a charity trustee and director of two national charities
has given me experience of providing services and information, creating policy,
campaigning and fundraising.
I am a Professor in Paediatric Oncology in Manchester with a long clinical practice and research profile in bone tumours, and lead the front line trial in the UK and Europe in Ewing sarcoma. I wanted to become a trustee for BCRT to allow my skills and experience in bone tumour research to advance the goals of BCRT. I also felt it was important to use these skills for the important shared goal of myself and BCRT to improve outcomes in bone cancer.
Jonathan is a specialist in orthopaedic oncology at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham. He qualified at the University of Birmingham in 2005, gained his specialist training at the Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, Oswestry and began working at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust in 2015. He is a Senior Honorary Clinical Lecturer in Orthopaedics at Aston University. He has been awarded multiple national research prizes in orthopaedic oncology including the British Orthopaedic Association International travelling fellowship award in 2014, visiting the Tata Memorial hospital in Mumbai and the British Orthopaedic Oncology Society European travelling fellowship award in 2015.
"I joined as a Trustee for BCRT in 2018 to channel my energy and enthusiasm into a growing charity that is supporting research nationally to identify, prevent, treat and support children and adults in bone tumours so that we see improved outcomes as soon as possible"
Hannah was diagnosed with osteosarcoma at the age of 25 and
provides us with an invaluable insight into the experience of going through primary
bone cancer as a patient. Read her story here.
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