THE Steve Prescott Foundation presented a £40,000 cheque to The Christie to help people with cancers similar to that which Steve battled.

The donation is the culmination of fundraising and amounts given to the SPF by supporters and sponsors for events during 2019 including the Challenge Wembley cycling event, the Grand Canyon Trek, the Lol Pennington Memorial Bowls event and the St Helens 10k run.

Steve Prescott was diagnosed with a rare abdominal cancer, pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP) in 2006 and formed the SPF in 2007 to raise awareness and funds for the Rugby League Benevolent Fund and The Christie in Manchester.

READ MORE > How to sign up for the annual St Helens 10k

Steve undertook many physically and mentally exhausting challenges during his illness to raise funds and awareness of the charities close to his heart. In October 2013 he underwent a pioneering multi visceral transplant of the small bowel, pancreas, duodenum and abdominal wall at the Oxford Transplant Unit and although this procedure eradicated the cancer Steve passed away a few weeks later due to complications of surgery.

SPF Trustees Linzi Prescott and Ade Cunliffe accompanied by ambassadors Adrian Morley and George Riley presented the £40,000 cheque to Professor Mark Saunders, consultant clinical oncologist and to The Christie charity community fundraising officer Louise Dawson.

Mark is the lead consultant clinical oncologist at The Christie who specialises in the treatment of PMP and gastrointestinal tumours.

St Helens Star:

Linzi Prescott and George Riley

Professor Saunders, on behalf of the peritoneal service at The Christie, said: "Once again we are so grateful for the extremely kind and generous donation of £40,000 which now represents a total of £593,549.24 given to The Peritoneal Tumour Service and The Christie Charity by the SPF. These donations specifically support projects directed to improving our knowledge and outcomes for patients with peritoneal cancers similar to that which unfortunately Steve Prescott endured.

"We allocate the monies to a wide range of projects including patient and carer support, education, and research and we are meeting with the representatives of the Steve Prescott Foundation in the New Year to identify a specific allocation for this donation. One of the many exciting areas we are already exploring are the genetic changes in peritoneal tumours. We are trying to understand why and how cancers spread and how we can target them with novel forms of chemotherapy."

The SPF Trustees were also accompanied by staff from Haydock-based firm Handepay who have generously donated a magnificent 2,800 Chocolate Oranges on Make a Difference (MAD) Friday in appreciation of all the NHS staff at the hospital. MAD Friday is the idea of Chris Lamb from St Helens in memory of his son Elliott who sadly passed away in 2010 aged four years old.

Chris said: "I wanted to do something positive, to cherish all those precious memories of Elliott and to say a small but special thank you to those remarkable people who had looked after him throughout his four short years."

Laura Drury, from Handepay, added: “The Steve Prescott Foundation is a cause close to our hearts and we are proud to continue contributing to the brilliant fundraising work Steve did in the final years of his life. NHS staff work tirelessly and selflessly all year round, we are honoured to donate and be invited to present a small token of our appreciation to each member of staff at The Christie.”

And Linzi Prescott said: "We are delighted to continue to support The Christie including their research programme for Pseudomyxoma related conditions. The SPF is so grateful to all the people who have completed challenges for us this year and for all the donations we have received. It really does make a difference to people’s lives.’’

SPF fundraising challenges for 2020 will include the GPW Recruitment St Helens 10k Run on Sunday 1st March, the Kilimanjaro trek in March, the Tower to Tower Cycling Challenge in June, the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge in September and the Machu Picchu and Rainbow Mountains trek in October.