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.
Our very own Bridget Bones travels everywhere with us. You can never beat her on style and she is always ready to support our amazing fundraisers! Keep your eyes peeled for Bridget’s next appearance!
Debbie became involved with the Bone Cancer Research Trust following the sad passing of her daughter Stephanie in 2003 following a battle with osteosarcoma. To this present day, Stephanie’s family still support our work in Stephanie's memory.
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.
Holly has been involved with the Bone Cancer Research Trust since 2010. Holly said: "I think BCRT is a very important charity to be supporting. More research needs to be done into primary bone cancer, so less people are affected by this terrible disease". We're thrilled to have Holly as a Team Bones Ambassador!
Being there at the start of the charity made me very proud. I just wanted to put something back and help promote awareness of bone cancer. I was very much aware that things hadn’t changed much since my diagnosis in 1987 and this needed to change. Knowing that I have had some input in the success of the charity gives me great pleasure. Read Nick's story.
Professor Rob Grimer
Rob was one of the founding Trustees of the Bone Cancer Research Trust and is Professor of Orthopaedic Oncology at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham. He is one of the world's leading authorities on sarcoma, and has helped pioneer the use of extendable prostheses and the use of new surgical techniques such as irradiation and re-implantation of bone to treat sarcoma.
Our daughter Emma was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in 2001. She spent two years fighting this terrible cancer. Talking with other parents we felt something needed to be done. We were told research had been very slow on primary bone cancer. Watching your child – how ever old – battle this unrelenting disease; amputation, chemotherapy, thoracotomy, it’s endless... it still comes back.
Why wouldn’t you want to help make a difference? After lots of talking, tears and research we all got together to push on with the road to research. Our involvement with the birth of this charity is something we felt we should do in the memory of Emma.
Community Fundraising Manager
As its first-ever volunteer, the Bone Cancer Research Trust has been a part of my life since 2005. I cannot believe how far the charity has come since then, and it's just fantastic to see it go from strength to strength. I became the charity's first member of staff in 2007 and my role has evolved a great deal since then.
Initially I was doing everything including; managing the website, supporting our fundraisers, organising conferences, co-ordinating the research grants, to overseeing the campaign for NICE to approve the new osteosarcoma drug Mepact! These days my role is very much focussed on fundraising which is my absolute passion!
Supporter Care Officer
I joined Team Bones in April 2015. I began volunteering at a local hospice six years ago which led to a full-time permanent post in the fundraising department. I am extremely proud to now be part of the Bone Cancer Research Trust where I am really keen to put my experience and life skills to good use, ultimately increasing funding to pay for research into bone cancer.
I would love to be here and witness our research finding a cure – now that would be a day to remember. When I’m not working I love walking, gardening and can often be found up a ladder with a paintbrush in my hand.
We lost our daughter Jennifer to bone cancer in August 2003 after an 8 month battle. At that time there was very little support or contact with other affected families due to the rarity of this cancer. We felt very alone and helpless. The treatment available back in 2003 was very limited with a poor success rate, and we knew at that point that something had to be done to help others in the future to overcome this debilitating, horrendous cancer. After the passing of our daughter we were determined to help other families and patients in the future as we didn’t want others going through what we had. We were determined that our daughter’s passing was not going to be in vain.
Head of Fundraising and Communications
Mat joined Team Bones in August 2015 having previously worked at Children with Cancer UK and the RSPCA. Mat shares a personal connection for our cause having lost his father at the age of 10 to Ewing sarcoma. His connection gives fuel to his passion every day in our fight to save life and limb.
Teresa became involved with the Bone Cancer Research Trust when the Joseph Thompson Bone Cancer Trust became one of our founding members. Joseph sadly passed away in June 2003 at just 12 years old following a battle with osteosarcoma.
We are proud to have 2011 Cheltenham Cup Winner, Sam Waley-Cohen as one of our charity Ambassadors. He has personal experience of primary bone cancer, as sadly, his brother, Tom, died at the age of 20 after a 10 year battle with Ewing sarcoma. Sam said: “I am truly honoured to be supporting the Bone Cancer Research Trust. The charity has achieved so much in ten years, and I hope I can help raise awareness and support for such a great cause.
Patricia had raised a considerable amount for primary bone cancer research over a number of years before the decision to establish the Bone Cancer Research Trust was made. She then joined in with the charity's founding and became one of the first trustees. Patricia’s daughter, Krystle, sadly passed away following a battle with Ewing sarcoma in 2002. Since Krystle’s passing, her family have made a huge contribution towards research into Ewing sarcoma.
Mike and Ros Francis
Founder and Former Clerk to the Trustees
Mike and Ros Francis played a large part in the start of the charity in their roles of a Founding Trustee and the first Chairman for five years (Mike) and Clerk to the Trustees for seven years (Ros). Their involvement began after losing their son Guy to osteosarcoma. Guy raised thousands of pounds specifically for research into bone cancer whilst in remission.
Professor Ian Lewis, who had treated him knew this and invited Mike and Ros with four other families in the same situation to consider starting a charity. Eighteen months later the Bone Cancer Research Trust became a registered charity. As parents, having experienced the agonies and joys of Guy’s cancer journey with him, Mike and Ros found it really positive to help establish the Bone Cancer Research Trust and look forward to seeing what the future holds for the charity...
Professor Ian J. Lewis
Founder and Trustee
Ian was a Medical Director at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool, and previously a Consultant Paediatric Oncologist in Leeds from 1985. Ian also undertook a number of senior leadership roles including Deputy Medical Director; and Associate Medical Director for Children’s Strategy for NHS Yorkshire and Humber. He has a number of national roles and responsibilities. He is a member of both the Department of Health Payment by Results Clinical Advisory Group; and the National Clinical Advisory Team.
In January 2012, Ian was appointed as co-Chair of the National Children and Young People’s Healthcare Outcomes Forum with the remit to advise the Secretary of State about how to improve healthcare outcomes for children and young people. Ian remains active in clinical research, particularly clinical trials and health services research and he has a national and international reputation within paediatric and adolescent oncology.
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.
Head of Research and Information
After doing my PhD and a short spell doing breast cancer research, which I loved, I soon realised that a career in a research laboratory was not for me. I then got involved in the world of biobanking at Newcastle University and haven’t looked back. I was involved in both local cancer biobank projects and also with the CCLG national biobank.
I really enjoy engaging with the clinical and research community, and with the public and patients to facilitate the collection of tissue samples for use in research.
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 became involved with BCRT after my youngest son died of
Ewing sarcoma in 2007. I contribute to the creation and maintenance of the
Information System in its various forms and co-wrote the GP on-line training
module. Previous work with Citizens' Advice included the creation of
information and training materials and the use of Plain English.
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"
Patrick became a Founding Trustee of the Bone Cancer Research Trust following the sad passing of his son Christopher, who is pictured here, to osteosarcoma in 2004. Patrick was Deputy Chair of the Bone Cancer Research Trust for 12 months and acted as a Trustee for 8 years, making an invaluable contribution to the charity.
He and his family went on to establish the Christopher Hardman Osteosarcoma Research Fund (CHORF) and to raise a great deal of funds for and awareness of our work.
Challenge Events Fundraising Manager
I joined Team Bones in February 2017 with a background in marketing and events. My real passion lies in events and fundraising and having volunteered with a number of charities for several years I was keen to make the move from the commercial world to the third sector. I am excited by the prospect of working for such a fantastic charity and hope to make significant contributions to aid the growth and success of BCRT.
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.
Laurence Whiteley MBE
We're delighted to have Olympic gold medallist Laurence Whiteley MBE as one of our charity ambassadors. Laurence was diagnosed with osteosarcoma at the age of 14 and underwent limb salvage surgery. He initially took up swimming as part of his rehabilitation before discovering rowing. Laurence said: "I first heard about you through my own experience and since then you've been one of my go to charities. There are several important aspects of your work to me that stand out. The most obvious being trying to beat bone cancer. After that I would say, raising awareness about bone cancer and the different types, giving people advice and helping them through it, and fundraising."
Head of Finance
I joined Team Bones in 2016 after a career break to look after my children. I am a chartered accountant , previously working in commercial roles in the public sector, and as an advisor in the private sector. Since joining the Bone Cancer Research Trust I have been so inspired by our amazing supporters, and I am excited by the groundbreaking research that we are funding.
With over 10 years' experience in marketing roles, developing and delivering communications strategies nationally and internationally, I am delighted to be part of the team at the Bone Cancer Research Trust. I am passionate and dedicated about raising awareness of primary bone cancer and to represent our researchers, supporters, and fundraisers alongside inspiring more people to support our work.
Challenge Events Fundraising Officer
I joined Team Bones in November 2017. I am a very active person and you can often find me out for a run or at the CrossFit gym. As a Challenge Events Fundraising Officer, I feel so lucky to be able to share my love of being active with other people that want to take on challenges in aid of such a worthy cause.
I am honoured to be part of the small team working so hard to make a difference to those affected by primary bone cancer.
I’ve been working as a volunteer for the Bone Cancer Research Trust since January 2014, half a day every week. I was inspired to do so after losing my husband to primary bone cancer. Also, I have two teenagers, and knowing how a large proportion of primary bone cancer sufferers are young, it has a double resonance for me to be involved.
I like volunteering every week, not only because it feels good to be able to help this brilliant cause but also because of the friendly staff working here. Their enthusiasm and energy are fantastic. I also love the fact that they know so many of our supporters personally, so there is a great sense of partnership.
Community Fundraising Officer
I joined the Bone Cancer Research Trust in August 2018, coming from a background in marketing and working in the charity sector. It’s a joy to be a part of a small but extremely dedicated, caring team as we work together towards finding a cure for primary bone cancer.
As a Community Fundraiser, every day I am inspired by our incredible supporters and volunteers, their passion for fundraising really is unique to the Bone Cancer Research Trust as often they will have a personal connection to the disease. Not only do I love helping them achieve their goals, but also hearing their stories, building lasting relationships and being there to support them throughout their personal journeys.
I joined the Bone Cancer Research Trust in the summer of 2018. I’m here to help my colleagues to shine by backing them up with good administration. During the previous 32 years I was in pastoral ministry, so I’ve had the privilege of walking with people through cancer treatment, and sometimes death. I also served for eight years as an elected Public Governor for an NHS Acute Hospital Foundation Trust, including two years as Lead Governor.
Team Bones is a great team to be part of because everyone pulls together with a positive and collaborative approach. I love working here.
The stories of courage and hope that I hear from our supporters are always moving. I am proud to work for a charity that produces such good quality and accessible information as well as funding research. The promotion of best practice in medical research through its Independent Scientific Advisory Panel is also heart-warming.
Community & Special Events Fundraising Executive
I joined Team Bones in February 2019, from a background in events and volunteering for other charities. I’m excited to work with this growing charity to one day find a cure for bone cancer. I find our supporters’ dedication inspiring, and love arranging special events which not only raise vital funds and awareness, but are also lots of fun!
Patient Engagement and Support Manager
Combined with a close experience of cancer, my career to date as a chemotherapy and palliative oncology nurse at the Royal Marsden Hospital has helped to shape my vision of cancer patient support. Ensuring patients are correctly informed, feel calm and well-supported was the aim of my working day as a nurse which I hope to bring forward into my role as Patient Support and Engagement Manager.
Working for the Bone Cancer Research Trust is a huge honour for me and I hope to inject as much knowledge, life and energy into helping primary bone cancer patients as possible.
I joined the Bone Cancer Research Trust in January 2019 after a period working in the commercial side of medical companies. My background is in charities and education, so I was really pleased to be working in a charity again, an environment that was so familiar, it felt like coming home. The team are such a hard-working, friendly bunch; they made me feel so welcome.
Having not had any experience of bone cancer personally I was very interested to learn all about the charity and the wonderful things they achieve in fighting this very cruel disease. The research which is funded by the charity is fascinating and I have had many ‘wow - how did someone think of that’ moments. I am looking forward to seeing the funding numbers getting bigger as the charity continues to grow.
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