Balloons go up for launch of fund raising campaign

Published: 29 October 2002

Dougray Scott and Johanna Macvicar pledge their support to new LRF campaign

500 red balloons released into the skies tomorrow, 30 October 2002, at Glasgow University by actor, Dougray Scott and columnist, Johanna Macvicar will mark the launch of a major fund raising campaign for a £2.25m Leukaemia Research Fund centre in Glasgow. The new centre will bring together cancer scientists, clinicians and patients under one roof at Gartnavel Hospital.

Dr Tessa Holyoake, a specialist in chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) at the University of Glasgow, will be the centre's Director. She said, ' To bring all these specialists together under one roof will be fabulous. Our success is dependent on active discussion with people of a similar mind in a research environment. This new centre will facilitate the cross-fertilisation of ideas which can so often lead to new and exciting developments'.

Leukaemia Research Fund (LRF) Chief Executive, Douglas Osborne, said: 'These are exciting times for leukaemia research in Glasgow. The establishment of this state-of-the-art LRF Centre alongside the clinical service will create an environment where doctors and scientists can work together so that benefits reach patients as quickly as possible. This is what matters and this is what we are working for at Leukaemia Research Fund.'

The campaign has already attracted famous supporters with a donation of $100 000 from Dr Richard Rockefeller, the great-grandson of John D Rockefeller. Richard Rockefeller is a CML sufferer himself and has chosen to support the LRF as he sees the work of Dr. Holyoake and her team as being the best in the field.

The involvement of today's celebrities is largely due to meetings which Dougray Scott had with Johanna Macvicar to help him develop his role as a leukaemia victim in his forthcoming film, 'Ripley's Game', released next year.

Johanna has battled with her illness since she was sixteen to raise awareness of CML and to encourage bone marrow donors ヨ her most famous success being Robbie Williams. The actor had contacted The Anthony Nolan Trust while researching his role and was put in contact with Johanna. Since meeting her, he has become a supporter of her efforts and will be along today to demonstrate that support.

Dougray has spoken of how Johanna's bravery has impressed and inspired him, ' After meeting Johanna, I really wanted to be positive and realistic about my portrayal of leukaemia.' Johanna offered plenty of advice on what he should or shouldn't do to portray an accurate picture. ' There were quite a few phone calls and changes to get it right!', she added.

Further Information

Approximately 24,500 people are diagnosed with leukaemia or one of the related cancers of the blood in the UK every year. Around 600 children in Britain develop leukaemia or lymphoma every year, accounting for half of all childhood cancers. Since Leukaemia Research Fund began in 1960 survival for the most common type of childhood leukaemia has risen dramatically, and now approaches 80%. Progress in adult leukaemias has been slower but is encouraging.

Leukaemia Research Fund is totally independent and funds research purely on merit. In 2001/2002 more than £19 million was spent working to improve the lives of people with leukaemia and the related diseases and on prevention. Supported research will costs £45 million over the next five years. Running costs are just 5p for every £1 raised. For more information on Leukaemia Research Fund, please refer to LRF

The Anthony Nolan Trust operates the largest bone marrow register in Britain. For more information, contact 0901 88 22 234.

To find out more or to make a donation to the Leukaemia Research Fund Centre appeal, please contact Pamela Stephenson at the University of Glasgow on 0141 330 4951

Media Relations Office (

You are invited to attend the launch of the fund-raising campaign on Wednesday 30 October 2002 at 10.45am at the South Front of the main campus building. (A wet weather alternative will be available).

There will be opportunities to speak with Dr. Holyoake, Douglas Osborne, Dougray Scott and Johanna Macvicar.

Also attending the event will be donors to the fund and leukaemia patients, both current and former.

For further details, contact the Press Office on 0141 330 3535

First published: 29 October 2002

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