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Researchers in Royal run

3 October 2013

PCRF-funded researchers are not only grateful to supporters for the donations which make their research possible, they can often be found fundraising for PCRF themselves!

Steve Pereira

Dr Steve Pereira from UCL has gathered a five-strong team of hepatology, gastroenterology and surgical specialists to take part in the Royal Parks Half Marathon in London on Sunday 6 October.

Dr Pereira is an experienced runner and cyclist, so the course should not present him with too many difficulties. “I’ve run this race before – it’s a beautiful flat course and lovely autumn weather is almost guaranteed,” he says.

The rest of his team are all based at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead. “Dr Rupert Negus and Dr Mark Hamilton come as a team,” says Dr Pereira. “They run regularly together and have a competitive streak, so they’ll be keeping a close eye on each other.”

The other members, Dr Jane MacNaughtan and Prof Brian Davidson, belong more in the novice category. “Jane’s only taken up running fairly recently, but was the first to put her name down for the race,” continues Dr Pereira.

“Brian’s a close colleague of mine and was happy to sign up but quickly realised the amount of training needed, saying to me “what have I done?”. He’s definitely up for the challenge though. It’s great that they’ve all agreed to help raise funds for PCRF.”

 Claire and Daryl

Another PCRF-funded researcher taking part in the Royal Parks event in order to raise money and awareness is Claire Reader from Barts Cancer Institute. Claire (pictured above) and her PhD supervisor, Dr John Marshall, spent three and a half days as part of a fundraising team walking 95 miles of the West Highland Way in July. No sooner had she recovered from the 12 blisters plus swollen ankles and feet than she had to begin serious training for this race.

Even starting training for the half marathon has been a challenge in itself as Claire explains: “My boyfriend, Daryl, and I have never run any half marathons or any 10Ks and were completely out of shape. But that was why we wanted to do it – it was more of a challenge and something so out of the ordinary for us that I thought it would help to increase awareness through people we knew and raise money for such an important cause. Training is much harder than we thought and 13.1 miles is a really long way - especially as we’re out of practice! But we know how important the cause is, so that's keeping us going.”

Claire’s been busy fundraising for PCRF since she began her PhD in January, organising a bake sale and quiz night. “I really wanted to give something back to PCRF as I learnt so much more about pancreatic cancer and how little treatment is available for patients,” she says. “Some of the research we undertake is so exciting I feel it's really important to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer and the role of PCRF in helping to put more money into research across the country.”

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