Happy New Year
We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones and as the New Year approaches, we must remember that it is a time for everyone to reflect on what you have achieved in the last year and what you hope to achieve in the year ahead. Some families unfortunately would have had to say goodbye to their loved ones and others are scared of what lies ahead for them in the next 12 months.
This was our seventh Christmas without Taylan and will be our seventh year without him. Although we look forward to what 2016 holds for us, it is also extremely difficult to know that we will be spending another year without him.
However, as 2015 ends, we look back to what has been achieved and we are ever so grateful to each and every one of you who has helped us to raise vital funds for research into brain tumours. We cannot put it into words just how much you all mean to us and the love and support you all give us – so we can help others.
Many of you have taken part in lots of different challenges and events throughout the year and we are ever so proud of you all for what you have achieved personally and what you have helped us to achieve.
The year kicked off with yet another amazing Crystal Ball which raised £32,000. 40 individuals also pledged their commitment to raise at least £500 each and we have also presented awards to over 15 people, in recognition of their incredible achievements and outstanding fundraising efforts.
We are particularly proud of our work with University of Portsmouth and for funding the vital work of Research Fellow Dr Rhiannon Lloyd, who started with the University of Portsmouth on 18th August 2012 - almost three years after Taylan passed away on 19th August 2009.
Rhiannon has brought specific knowledge in mitochondria and is a key member of the Brain Tumour Research team working on this particular aspect of brain tumour research.
Mitochondria are "the powerhouse of human cells" because they generate most of the cell's supply of energy. Mitochondria are also involved in other tasks such as signaling, cellular differentiation, and cell death, as well as maintaining the control of the cell cycle and cell growth.
Her team have identified numerous small defects (mutations) in the mitochondrial DNA of brain tumours and are investigating how they contribute to altered cancer cell metabolism, formation and sensitivity to anti-cancer drugs.
Rhiannon is particularly focusing on paediatric brain tumours, including medulloblastoma, brainstem glioma and diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas, the type of brain tumour which took Taylan away from us.
Dedicated research is so important if we are to put an end to brain tumours and we are delighted that our supporters are helping us to fund the important work being carried out by Rhiannon and the rest of Professor Pilkington’s team.
By granting £180,000 and employing Research Fellows like Rhiannon, the team are also able to employ PhD students and support MSc and Erasmus students, who work under Rhiannon’s guidance. Rhiannon’s employment helps expand the number of ‘minds’ working in this area and creates a ’knowledge hub’ and the critical mass so desperately needed to find a cure for brain tumours.
We would like to thank those who took part in the Capital to Coast 100 mile bike ride, those who abseiled the Spinnaker Tower, took part in triathlons, schools and businesses that participated in Wear a Hat Day, students who chose Taylan’s Project to benefit from their Duke of Edinburgh Awards, Taylan’s grandparents for continuing to sell their wonderful cakes, pies, puddings and knitted Minions and those who have volunteered with running of events and the day to day running of Taylan's Project. A special mention has to go out to Elavation Platforms & Training for launching the UK’s largest HR28 Boom Lift fully liveried in our charity colours and logo and committing to donate a percentage of the revenue to Taylan’s Project every quarter for the life of the machine in their rental fleet. Many of you also took part in Christmas Appeals and sponsored precious teddies which were gifted to wonderful children who are currently being cared for at the John Radcliffe Hospital. Thank you letters and an update will follow in the New Year….
Every year, we are overwhelmed and constantly in awe of the fantastic support we receive and the monies you help us raise. We sincerely thank you once again for your continued support, in memory of such a wonderful child who is creating an incredible and lasting legacy which will help others and achieve our aim to bring an end to brain tumours, giving hope to thousands of families that are going through tough times at the moment or are about to embark on a terrifying journey.
You help us to make a huge difference in helping to find better treatments and a cure for brain tumours, as well as help us to continue providing holidays and supporting families with terminally ill children financially.
We wish you all a joyous, healthy and Happy New Year. xx