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Double Delight for Fundraisers

Double Delight for Fundraisers.  Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England), September 12, 2006


Byline: By Paul McMillan

A fund set up by the widow of an asbestos victim, set to help others, has now more than doubled its original target.

The Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund has now raised more than pounds 200,000 to help fund research into ways of easing suffering for victims of the disease.

It was started in 2002 by Mr Knighton's widow Christine with an original target of pounds 100,000, which the fund has already invested in a project to discover why the life-extending drug Alimta, developed in Newcastle, has different success rates in patients.

The fund was able to reach its latest landmark through the pounds 20,000 proceeds of an evening at the West Denton Social Club organised by mesothelioma sufferer Arthur Tiffin and his friend Billy Patterson.

Christine, 59, from Wallsend, said: "We will now be able to look for new projects to make a donation to, which is quite exciting. With the help of Arthur and Billy, and the help and support of many local people, we are now able to look for future studies. The possibilities are endless.

"We had eight high calibre applicants for our last grant. For example, there was one study which looked at genetics to see why particular people developed the disease and another looking at a national tissue bank.

"There was such a huge range and all concentrating on mesothelioma specifically."

Mr Knighton died, aged 60, in 2001 after he was exposed to asbestos while serving in the Royal Navy as a young man. Christine says the success of the fund has been a fitting tribute to her husband.

She added: "When I started in 2002 with a dream to raise pounds 100,000, people thought I was absolutely mad.

"To have achieved the pounds 200,000 mark is absolutely wonderful. Mick has driven me on."

Arthur Tiffin said he and his friend were overwhelmed by the amount of support they had for the social night. He said: "Alimta is a fantastic drug which nobody can be denied the chance to have."

Billy Patterson, 54, from Fenham, thanked everybody involved in the social club evening. He added: "Thanks especially to compere Scott Adair, the Mark Gladwin Agency, who organised the entertainment, the committee of the West Denton Social Club and all the friends and family who supported the evening."

Anyone who would like to make a further donation to the fund can contact Billy on (0191) 2743490.