Cure and care
By funding groundbreaking medical research and supporting the care and treatment of cancer sufferers, Freemasons make a real contribution towards fighting the disease
Every two minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer, and more than one in three people in the UK will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime. In the words of Cancer Research UK, ‘One day we will beat cancer. The more research we do, the sooner that day will come.’
Having donated more than £3 million to cancer-related medical research, the Grand Charity has demonstrated that masons share this belief, too. Due to improvements in cancer detection and treatments, survival rates in the UK have doubled in the past forty years. This achievement wouldn’t have been possible without dedicated researchers and their discoveries.
The Grand Charity has funded pioneering research into the study of cancer at the molecular level, as precision targeting of individual cancers is a powerful weapon in the fight against the disease. Grants to Ovarian Cancer Action (£1 million, 2008-2012) and to the Institute of Cancer Research (£1 million, 2004-2014) are recent examples. Both organisations have made vital discoveries relating to genes and proteins that are particularly important in the understanding of the development of ovarian, prostate and testicular cancers.
The Grand Charity has donated nearly £6 million to charities that offer the highest level of care to those affected by cancer. These grants have helped to improve the lives of thousands of sufferers and their families through expert medical, practical and emotional support provided by the funded charities.
The Grand Charity gave £446,000 to fund three CLIC Sargent support workers over five years, providing an invaluable lifeline to children with cancer, and their families, whose lives have been turned upside down by the disease.
In the wake of the deep emotional turmoil resulting from a diagnosis, and the debilitating side effects of treatments such as chemotherapy, there is an urgent need for emotional support, counselling and complementary therapies. This range of vital care is available free for breast cancer sufferers and their families from The Haven charity. In 2008, the Grand Charity gave £250,000 to fund the development of one of its three therapeutic day centres (Havens) in Leeds, where visitors can build their strength to cope with and fight the disease.
The Grand Charity also supports end-of-life care for people with cancer and other diseases. Putting patients and families first, Marie Curie Nurses provide high-quality care and support for the terminally ill at the end of their life, in the place of their choice. Currently, a £117,000 grant is funding the salaries of two Marie Curie Nurses for three years. During 2012-2013, Marie Curie Nurses provided more than 1.3 million hours of nursing to 30,080 patients, along with much-needed support for their families.
The funding given by Freemasons is invaluable. It not only provides help for sufferers, but is also an investment in the fight to conquer this disease.
Find out more about The Freemasons’ Grand Charity by visiting www.the-grand-charity.org
Help for home from home in Somerset
CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people. One of its Homes from Home, where families can stay for free during a child’s cancer treatment, Sam’s House in Bristol is a purpose-built residence with a garden, close to Bristol Royal Hospital for Children (BRHC). The Lodge of Agriculture, No. 1199, of Yatton in Somerset, has donated four iPads to the centre.
The charity is close to the heart of WM David Megilley, whose family stayed at Sam’s House when his nephew underwent a procedure for leukaemia at BRHC.
A team of Freemasons and their families were out marshalling the Reading Half Marathon in appalling conditions on Sunday 17th March 2013. Their efforts have helped CLIC Sargent to raise £41,000 from the race so far and they anticipate that this will rise to a final total of £55,000. CLIC Sargent have thanked the Berkshire masons for all their help on their website.