Monday 27th March 2017 I was invited to the Paterson Institute Drug Discovery Unit which is next door to The Christie Hospital part of Cancer Research UK where the Researchers and Scientists busy themselves looking for a cure and better drugs.
I was asked to speak to a group of them about my experience of primary and secondary breast cancer over the last 10 years. There were 4 of us asked to speak, Clive who had had bowel cancer and then Emma and Michelle who both had primary breast cancer. It was great to talk and meet other survivors and I was nodding quite a lot about their experiences even though mine was 10 years ago, things don’t always change and you can relate to how they have dealt with and coped with a cancer diagnosis. This is why it is good to network with other patients you can learn so much just from each other!
We had a great tour around the research labs which was hugely interesting and I took the following photos to give an insight into what happened in the labs.
The store of different compounds used in research
Years of different compound samples collected and mixed in different ways, many drawers of work over the years
Seeing cancer under the microscope
Being welcomed to tour around the lab
L-R Emma, Michelle, myself & Clive
After the tour we had lunch together and chatted about our experiences and about what an amazing place it was and how much we enjoyed a tour of the labs. It really is an inspiring place. Just think the next new breakthrough in a cancer drug may have been researched whilst we were there.
Thank you to Nikki March for inviting myself to speak and for organizing the tour. Congratulations after the birth of your new baby!
NB Since writing this short blog, there has been a fire that has devastated the building and labs. Thankfully no one was hurt or injured but there will be many, many years of research lost and very expensive, state of the art equipment. This is devastating to research and to people with cancer, like myself. The research is irreplaceable. The hope of new drugs and even a cure is pushed further out of reach. Manchester is one of the worlds top research centers. Over the past 3 years I have fund raised for research – specifically for resistance into chemotherapy for breast cancer which I know is a hugely important issue for anyone with any secondary cancer. This research was done at the Paterson Institute.
I was in the building the previous day to the fire as I have been asked to join the ECMC – Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre as a patient representative on their Steering Committee and I attended my first meeting. Strangely, I had to call at The Christie the next morning as I had to go to have bloods taken to take to Wythenshawe hospital for a pre op that morning. The building was on fire and the Fire Brigade hadn’t even arrived at the scene when I arrived to billowing black smoke coming out of the roof. I had taken photographs and posted them on twitter below.
I would like to highlight that there is a fundraising link to help with rebuilding – please donate if you are able to. Thank you x