Friday, 23 December 2011


By Tom Chaplin, Writer in Residence

I'll be honest - I'd never seen or even heard of a Biomarker Generator or an ultra compact cyclotron as it is sometimes known, and I certainly didn't know how they work! I didn't know its complex radioactive shield weighed a colossal nine tonnes and I wasn't aware that buying and installing one would cost you the best part of £1.2m.

But this Christmas the Foundation are getting ready to unwrap a pretty special Christmas present to itself and its partners working in cancer care in the North East and Cumbria. This piece of truly cutting edge, specialist equipment will benefit many fighting cancer and amazingly is only the second of its type in the world and the first in Europe.

With its largest single investment to date the Foundation was able to contribute £625,000 to the purchase of the machine with a further, equally large contribution coming from Newcastle University.

The Foundation's contribution was only possible as a result of the hard work, generosity, passion and courage of patients, their families, fundraisers and supporters and it is to you that we would like to say thank you and wish you a very special, merry Christmas.

Sir Bobby's family and everyone connected to the Foundation is and always has been moved by the lengths fundraisers young and old are prepared to go to: from cake sales to Charity Balls, Great North runners to fancy dress days, you do a wonderful job and make us all so proud. Please, keep doing what you are doing - it is truly remarkable, incredibly worthwhile and very very much appreciated.

We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!