Abbie’s Army raises £1.9m with the help of BTL-UK in order to fund research for brain cancer in children and support the families of those affected.
Abbie’s Army are a children’s brain tumour research charity with a very specific mission – to raise awareness and funding for a brain cancer known as ‘DIPG’ or Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma – and to provide support to families in the UK affected by this most horrendous diagnosis.
The charity was founded in 2012 by Ray and Amanda Mifsud, directors and BearingNet members at ‘BTL-UK Ltd’ who sadly lost their daughter Abbie to DIPG brain cancer in 2011. Abbie was just 6 years old. She sadly passed away only 5 months after her DIPG diagnosis.
On average, 40 children a year will develop pontine glioma in the UK. Forming in the ‘pons’ area of the brain stem, DIPG’s are a highly aggressive and a hugely difficult to treat brain tumour. It cannot be surgically removed and currently there is no effective treatment or cure.
Only 10% of children diagnosed will survive for two years, at 5 years the survival rate is 0. The average survival rate for a child with DIPG is just 9-12 months. Driven by first-hand experience and this clear ‘unmet need’ for research to help children like Abbie, the charity was set up to help overturn its uniformly fatal prognosis.
Having BTL-UK UK’s company infrastructure in place to help, has been absolutely invaluable in the charity operations. With all distribution, merchandise and administrative costs covered and no paid charity staff, every donation made can be allocated fully to the cause for which it was intended. BTL-UK staff have also been incredible in their support, both as volunteers and for challenge events fundraising tens of thousands of pounds to support vital research.
Samantha Soames recently took part in a 160ft bungee jump raising £950 for the charity and keen runner, Lee Marsden, raised over £3,000 running the Brighton Marathon with fantastic sponsorship from customers and suppliers in the industry.
Even a BTL-UK company vending machine has raised £5,000 alone! On top of this, our recent appeal to company contacts to support a brand-new clinical trial for DIPG also saw numerous donations come in from industry supporters.
In such difficult times the charity is so hugely grateful for any and all the financial help it receives. Any projects that are funded by Abbie’s Army are scrutinised with the support of its small scientific advisory panel who are all experts in the field of DIPG brain cancer. Abbie would (and should) now be 17 and her charity is now fast approaching its tenth birthday with the Charity Commission. With almost £1.9m raised and numerous projects that have all contributed hugely to the understanding of DIPG disease, advancements are being made but there is still a huge amount of work to do.
If you would like to get involved, or help the charity to continue its mission to help support children in the UK, like Abbie, they would love to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org
More information on DIPG and the research funded to date can be found on the website:
+44 1233 542244