Supporters' Stories

Below are just a few stories from some of the donors to the MRF. This is where their efforts are recognised and celebrated. Hopefully you will be inspired by them and it will encourage you to donate or raise funds. It doesn't have to be thousands of pounds, every little bit really does help. If you would like to tell us about your fundraising and share your story then please get in touch by emailing

Evesham Golf Club Seniors' Captain rounds off his year with a £1,925 donation!

William Dobie completed his year as Seniors Captain in autumn 2018. Throughout his tenure William devoted a huge amount of energy turning club events into fund raising opportunities for The Christie Melanoma Research Fund. These consisted of a draw for a bottle of wine at the end of each round of their winter league, donations by individual members, a Captain's day and charity day.  William chose this Fund because his wife, Norma, received "excellent and proactive care from Paul Lorigan and his team". Sadly Norma succumbed to the cancer.

Ian Casson ‘Crooning for the Christie’

Since 2016, Ian’s wife, Clare, has been receiving ‘the most amazing care and treatment’ by the melanoma team here at The Christie Hospital. This has raised the couple’s awareness of just how many of their friends and families’ lives have been affected by melanoma or similar illnesses and who have also attended the same hospital.

Ian believes that The Christie ‘is arguably the finest Specialist Cancer Hospital in the UK, and we are indeed fortunate to have it here in Manchester on our own doorstep. It is also at the cutting edge of much needed cancer research, and other hospitals around the country also benefit from the valuable work at The Christie, and the spin-off from the new discoveries and exciting treatments that are being developed.’

Recognising the ongoing need for funding into melanoma research and hoping to make a valuable contribution to the charitable efforts Ian is taking to the stage (or any area…) and is ready to sing! Ian can entertain you for anything between 20 minutes to an hour depending on your party or event requirements. His repertoire includes songs by Bobby Darin, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr, Neil Diamond and others, together with favourite songs from well-known musicals: definitely something for everyone. Ian doesn’t charge a fee, relying instead on generous donations from the guests for the The Christie Charitable Fund.

Please contact Ian if you are interested in this entertaining way to raise funds for the MRF. Phone 0161 439 8427 / 07967 077574

Gareth Greenwood Hope Tribute Fund – TARGET REACHED!

Jennifer Greenwood set up this fund in June 2010 in memory of her son, Gareth, who died in 2009. Inspired by the determination and courage he showed throughout his treatment, as well as the hard work of the melanoma team here at The Christie, Jennifer began fund raising in his name to try to make a real difference in the treatment of melanoma.  Gareth was just 33 when he died and to honour that Jennifer set a target of £33,000 for his Hope Tribute fund.

Over six busy years Jennifer and friends gradually worked towards their goal and it was a Tea Party one afternoon early in July that tipped the donations to £33,331.33! Congratulations to Jennifer and everyone involved in these events, you have made a wonderful contribution to the Melanoma Research Fund.

Read more about Gareth, and Jennifer's fund raising events here. 

Paul Harnetty inspires a marathon challenge and brings HOPE

A mole on Paul’s skin turned out to be malignant. His diagnosis of melanoma was swiftly followed by three operations and five weeks of radiotherapy. After this ordeal he turned his thoughts to fundraising, inspired as he was by the melanoma team here at the Christie Hospital. Two of his friends, Raza and Alex, committed to running the Manchester marathon in April 2016 and their efforts were rewarded with donations for the Melanoma Research Fund totalling £3723 (at the time of writing).

Paul hasn’t just wanted to make a financial impact for melanoma research though. He identified the ‘baggage’ that cancer brings with it – the life changes and potential for reduced life expectancy - as an area in which he wants to offer support to others. To achieve this he has recently successfully completed the MacMillan HOPE facilitators training course.

It is described on the Macmillan website “For people living with cancer, even everyday tasks can seem a real struggle. Our new Helping Overcome Problems Effectively (HOPE) courses give them and their carers the chance to refocus their inner strength and regain their confidence.”

This is a useful reminder that ‘charity’ isn’t just about the fundraising, but also about giving of your own time to others. Paul has found quite a unique way to do that.

Mark Roberts - Challenge Cancer UK

Mark Roberts and his wife Elise established 'Elise for Life' in July 2010 just three months before she died of melanoma. They aimed to raise £1 million in support of research into melanoma. Friends, family and work colleagues at Barclay's bank poured their heart and soul into numerous arduous events including walking the Great Wall of China, cycling from Vietnam to Cambodia, trekking the lava fields of Iceland and climbing Mt Kilimanjaro. Within three years this amount was surpassed, and the final sum was over £1,175,000.

Mark then established Challenge for Life, since renamed 'Challenge Cancer UK' a national cancer charity partnered with several established cancer charities including The Christie Charitable Fund and Melanoma Focus. This charity has now closed, having fulfilled its fund raising aims.

Mark's dedication to this and Elise's legacy was recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honour's List in 2014, and he was awarded a BEM (British Empire Medal) for charitable services to cancer care.

Richard Jackson - Skin4Life

Richard Jackson has used his personal experience of melanoma to inspire both raising funds and awareness. Skin4Life have generated over £40,000 so far for the MRF. Richard has also played a vital part as a patient expert for a variety of decision making groups impacting on the care and management of patients with melanoma.

The Department of Health asked NICE (National Institute of Health and Care Excellence) to develop a clinical guideline on assessment and management of melanoma. Richard was invited to be a part of the Guideline Development Group as a patient advisor. The Guidelines were completed in 2014.

Richard was also appointed by NICE to be the patient expert for the successful Ipilimumab approval process.

Richard's concern extends to the younger generations as well; as a father and Head Teacher he is keen that schools offer the best advice regarding sun safety to children. He supports a skin cancer charity's aim to provide this kind of education (Skcin).

Last updated: October 2021