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Home » Rare diseases » Investing in life-saving research and care for each and every child

Louise Parkes

CEO, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity

A child doesn’t have to die from cancer for it to take their life. It can take away their childhood, their opportunities to learn and even to have children of their own one day.

At Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSH Charity), we believe that every child deserves a childhood – and a future. That’s why we’re building a world-leading Children’s Cancer Centre at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), to bring new breakthroughs to life and help more children beat cancer.

Designed with the needs of children and families at its heart, this state-of-the-art centre will be far more than just a building. It will support every aspect of care for children and their families, from diagnosis to remission.

With digitally advanced wards, cutting-edge imaging technology, state-of-the-art treatment facilities and a new school, the centre will treat the child, not just their disease. It will be a gateway for children from across the UK to go on to better futures, where they not only survive but thrive; and that’s not all we’re doing to help beat childhood cancer.  

In the UK, only 2p out of every £1 spent on
cancer research each year goes towards
dedicated research projects for childhood cancers.

Pioneering research-led care

Despite incredible advances in research and care, some childhood cancers still have just a 2% chance of survival. It’s a stark reminder that we have a long way to go to reduce the burden of this devastating disease.

In the UK, only 2p out of every £1 spent on cancer research each year goes towards dedicated research projects for childhood cancers. As the UK’s largest dedicated funder of child health research, GOSH Charity aims to transform the lives of seriously ill children through research-led care. That’s why we’re investing £70 million towards research into rare anord complex child health conditions, with more than £15 million allocated to children’s cancer research alone. This will advance our understanding of the biology of this disease and develop new diagnostic tests, treatments and cures.

Making the incurable, curable

Within the last decade, we’ve supported huge developments in CAR-T therapy, which programmes the body’s own immune cells to attack and kill cancer cells. When two-year-old Austin was diagnosed with leukaemia, there were few options for him.

Thanks to pioneering GOSH researchers, supported by the charity, Austin received a brand-new CAR-T therapy. He’s just turned 15 and is cancer-free. The hospital has a team of dedicated doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and researchers who are specialists in the most complex conditions. The new Children’s Cancer Centre will give them the specialist facilities to match, but we can’t do this alone. Together, we can help beat childhood cancer.

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