A Manchester woman has had the backing from a host of world class drummers including Chad Smith (Red Hot Chilli Peppers), Nick Mason (Pink Floyd) and Brad Wilk (Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave), for her fundraising campaign to raise funds for The Christie, where her husband was treated for testicular cancer.
As a keen drummer herself, Dionne Cyprus, 39 who has worked at the specialist cancer centre for 10 years as a photographer, came up with the idea for Beat it!, as a thank you for the care that her husband Chris received and to help raise awareness about men’s cancers.
She said: “The Beat it! project began last year, when I came up with idea of combining my love of drumming and photography to raise funds for, and awareness of, men's cancers.
“After witnessing my husband’s struggle through two separate incidents of testicular cancer involving radiotherapy and surgeries in 2003, I decided to give something back to the hospital that helped us through such a difficult time. Chris is now in remission, and we will be forever grateful to the staff at The Christie for their professional and empathetic approach to his treatment.”
Chris added: “Dionne was my rock when I suffered with my illness both emotionally and physically. Along with fantastic staff at The Christie, she helped me through what was a very tough time.
“At the time of my treatment for the second tumour, we were warned that it might impact on our ability to conceive as I had to have both testicles removed. However, to our delight in 2009, after undergoing IVF treatment Dionne became pregnant with our son, Drew who is also now a keen drummer.”
Dionne added: “Unfortunately not all cases are as straightforward as ours, with some men experiencing more serious outcomes if their particular cancer is more advanced. I have set myself the target of raising £50,000, which will go towards funding research, specialist training and a post within the advanced urological cancer team at The Christie which specialises in prostate, kidney, bladder and testicular cancers.
“In order to make my vision a reality, I need more help from drummers far and wide, who are willing to give up a small amount of their time and fabulousness, to sit for a portrait for this very worthwhile cause.”
Joe Donovan from Stockport band Blossoms, Mathew Priest (Dodgy), Steve White (Paul Weller and Style Council), Lloyd Ryan (Phil Collins drum teacher), Ben Thatcher (Royal Blood) and a host of other drummers have also pledged to support the campaign.
Dionne plans to exhibit the portraits at an auction along with signed drum ware to raise vital funds for The Christie. The funding will help support a specific area of research managed by The Christie charity. The Genito Urinary Cancer Group at The Christie is one of the most advanced urological cancer teams in the UK. All funds raised will help provide a research scientist post, with specialist training in the delivery of curative radiotherapy techniques for men's cancers including prostate and bladder. You can find out more and support the campaign by visiting www.beat-it-project.org
The Christie charity supports the work of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust through its fundraising activities, and delivers projects, equipment and improvements that are over and above what the NHS funds. The charity has over 43,000 supporters who helped raise £15.9m last year.
The Christie NHS Foundation Trust has been ranked ‘Outstanding’ by the health regulator the Care Quality Commission which referred to it as ‘exceptional’ and ‘a leader in its field’. It commended the Trust not only for its effectiveness and care, but highlighted its work in shaping the future of cancer care and noted the reach and influence of its clinical research projects.