A professor who played a key role in the progress of the Daisy Appeal is now backing the charity as a fundraiser with a coast to coast walk across the north of England.
Steve Haswell, who worked with the Daisy Appeal in his role as a professor in chemistry at the University of Hull, has been joined on the trek by his son Simon, who works in the laboratories at Castle Hill Hospital, Cottingham.
The pair have already more than doubled the original target of £400 on their JustGiving page and are hoping that well-wishers who they have never even met will help them top a revised target of £1,000.
Steve said: “It might be a miniscule amount compared to the Daisy Appeal’s overall target of £8.5-million but we want to do what we can.”
During his career Steve worked closely with the Daisy Appeal, which is raising funds to enable earlier diagnosis of cancer, heart disease and dementia for patients across the Humber region.
In particular Steve helped to develop a comprehensive PET-CT facility, including the installation of a cyclotron to support research at the University of Hull.
Professor Nick Stafford, Chair of the Daisy Appeal, said: “Steve contributed very significantly to our campaign and his microfluidics work in Hull has been an important and unique facet of the whole project.”
After working in Australia, Steve returned to East Yorkshire and found that the Daisy Appeal has now raised more than £20m and will soon open a new radiochemistry and cyclotron unit at Castle Hill, housing its own cyclotron which will produce radioactive tracers.
He said: “The cyclotrons used to be the size of a five-a-side football pitch but in time they were able to get a ‘desktop’ one – not actually the size of a desktop but small enough to have one at the University of Hull
“I felt that as a local charity which was supporting this work the Daisy Appeal was punching way above its weight. It really is a world leader and now, having worked in Australia and retired back to East Yorkshire, I wanted to do something to support it.”
The pair set off from St Bees in Cumbria on Saturday for their 190-mile trek which they aim to complete by arriving at Robin Hood’s Bay on Sunday 19 September. They have been practising with walks of up to 12 miles three times a week, taking in trips out of the area to locations including Helvellyn, one of the highest points in the Lake District.
Steve, who lives in Cottingham, said: “We needed to experience a few hills and we couldn’t really do that round here! We’re comfortable with the distance we have to walk. The challenge will be having to do it every day for 16 days and avoid injury.”
Claire Levy, Fundraiser for the Daisy Appeal, said: “Steve and Simon have already raised a significant contribution which, with the addition of Gift Aid, is worth more than double their original target of £400.
“We’re chasing a big target and we place a high value on every contribution. We want to get the message out that people can take on all sorts of challenges to raise whatever amount they can to help us fund the research which will improve accuracy and detection rates for cancer, heart disease and dementia across East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire.
“Most of the money raised by Steve and Simon so far has come from their family and friends and hopefully they will secure more support from people who recognise the benefit for people across the region of the work the Daisy Appeal is funding. People can make donations during the walk and for some time afterwards.”
To make a donation and to follow the progress of Steve and Simon please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/haswell-ctoc
To find out more about the Daisy Appeal please visit: https://daisyappeal.org/