Renal Cancer Research Fund

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Welcome to the Renal Cancer Research Fund page of our website. The Renal Cancer Research Fund was a registered charity, initially set up in 2011 by kidney cancer survivor, Christy Watson and her sister Gemma Swankie.

After Christy’s initial diagnosis the sisters were shocked to discover the lack of successful kidney cancer treatments. The main problem is that kidney cancer research gets very little funding, therefore advancements in new treatments is slow. Also, there are often no symptoms or they can be passed off as something else, so early detection is difficult.

Christy and Gemma, felt they had to do something to raise awareness of kidney cancer, and help advance research for a successful kidney cancer treatment or cure. And so the Renal Cancer Research Fund evolved.

Action Kidney Cancer have joined forces with the Renal Cancer Research Fund to extend our involvement in research projects and to include the patient voice to further the care and treatment of kidney cancer patients and their families throughout the UK.

Renal Cancer Research Fund projects

The two main objectives of the Renal Cancer Research Fund were to raise awareness of kidney cancer and help advance kidney cancer treatment. They raised funds through annual events, such as the Green Ribbon Ball, Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, Prestwick Proms, fun runs, coffee mornings, fashion shows and fayres. During the 10 years they were active, they raised an impressive £105,000. These funds were used to:

  • Help buy a cryotherapy machine for the Beatson/Gartnavel Hospital in Glasgow, which is used to treat small kidney cancer tumours less invasively
  • Sponsor a kidney cancer specialist research assistant and the work she was doing based at Glasgow University to investigate a potential new treatment for kidney cancer. This research team was headed up by Professor Joanne Edwards
  • Help fund ongoing research by the Edinburgh Urology Cancer Group by Mr Grant Stewart based at Edinburgh University to investigate personalised medicine and potentially identify a biomarker for recurrence of the disease
  • Help fund the first website for the Kidney Cancer Support Network (now Action Kidney Cancer).

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