Press release posted 24 February 2022

A scientist is taking on the gruelling challenge of the Manchester Marathon to raise funds for The Christie charity’s Macclesfield appeal in memory of 2 former colleagues.

Alex Abbott, who works at AstraZeneca, is taking part in April’s marathon in memory of Helen Williams and Jacqui Edwards, who were both treated at The Christie cancer centre in Manchester.

The pharmaceutical scientist, who lives in Macclesfield, is raising funds for the newly opened £26M Christie at Macclesfield centre which was funded by the charity.

Alex, 27, said: “I was inspired by seeing so many of my colleagues get involved in fundraising for The Christie at Macclesfield last year and I knew I had to do something in 2022 in memory of Helen and Jacqui.
“Having lost 2 colleagues to cancer, it seems fitting that I am able to help raise money for the new centre here in Macclesfield in their memory.
“I do enjoy running regularly, however a marathon is further than I have ever run before, but I am looking forward to donning my blue shirt for The Christie and taking on this new challenge.”

The new £26 million cancer centre opened on 13 December 2021 and treated its first chemotherapy patients that day. With the radiotherapy service now treating patients, the centre is fully open and will provide 46,000 patient appointments and visits each year and provide care closer to home for more than 1,500 patients a year.

In addition to 12,500 radiotherapy appointments and 6,800 chemotherapy, immunotherapy and hormonal treatments, The Christie at Macclesfield will offer a range of holistic services including haematology treatments, outpatient care, nurse led clinics, counselling services, an information centre, palliative care and a wider range of clinical trials. 

The centre also has a CT scanner where treatments are planned, complementary therapy rooms and a charity centre.

Funded through £23m from The Christie charity, this new centre will transform cancer care, treating patients from Cheshire, The High Peak area of Derbyshire and parts of North Staffordshire for the most common cancers like breast, bowel, lung and prostate. Patients with rare and complex cancers will continue to be treated at The Christie in Withington.

Josh Hughff, sporting events officer at The Christie charity, said: “The marathon is a really tough event and we’re delighted that Alex has decided to take part in it for the charity and it is very fitting for him to do so in memory of his colleagues.
“We’ll be wishing him and every other runner the best of luck with their training and we’ll be there on the day to cheer them over the finish line. Go Alex!”

The Christie charity supports the work of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust providing enhanced services over and above what the NHS funds. This includes money for care and treatment, research, education and extra patient services. Gifts from the public make a huge difference to the care and treatment that The Christie is able to provide to patients and their families.

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust was the first specialist trust to be rated as ‘Outstanding’ twice (in 2016 and 2018) by the health regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC). It referred to The Christie as ‘a leader in cancer care’ and ‘a pioneer in developing innovative solutions to cancer care.’ The CQC praised the Trust’s staff which it said ‘go the extra mile to meet the needs of patients and their families’ and that they were ‘exceptionally kind and caring.’ In 2017, the CQC rated The Christie as the best specialist trust in the country, and one of the top three trusts overall in England. 

To find out more about how you can fundraise for The Christie and to see what other events they have lined up this year, please visit our fundraise for The Christie charity webpage.