All in memory of tragic Ann

Ann Wood - who died in 2008 of a rare form of ovarian cancer.
Ann Wood - who died in 2008 of a rare form of ovarian cancer.
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A FUND set up by a grieving husband in memory of his wife has topped more than £70,000 in just over three years.

Peter Wood pledged to raise £50,000 in memory of his wife Ann, who died of a rare form of ovarian cancer, for research into the killer disease.

Peter Wood presents cheque to the research centre

Peter Wood presents cheque to the research centre

The former Delamore worker died in May 2008, just two months after being diagnosed with a rare form of ‘small cell’ ovarian cancer.

Peter said: “Very little is known about this disease and there is no database of cases.

“Initially we set up The Ann Wood Appeal to fund a project to build a registry and collect together all the available information on past and future cases.

“Thanks to an amazing amount of help from many of Ann’s friends, family and work colleagues, we have raised £70,342.45.

Ann Wood who died of a rare ovarian cancer

Ann Wood who died of a rare ovarian cancer

“The fundraising is now over and we have been able to donate all the money to Ann’s cause. Thanks to everyone’s hard work and generosity we have massively exceeded the initial target and have been able to support some much more in-depth and exciting research.”

The money has been raised through countless events, including raffles, bike trips to Paris, talent shows, tennis tournaments and head shavings plus donations.

Peter, who lives in Tydd St Giles, would like to share with everyone how the money will be used.

The five-year survival rate for ovarian cancer has already jumped from 15 per cent to 48 per cent over 20 years and it is believed more research would further increase this figure.

Ovarian Cancer Action is a charity focused entirely on ovarian cancer and the only one to have its own dedicated research department. It is based at Hammersmith Hospital and employs 50 scientists working on seven research projects.

The money raised in Ann’s memory has been used to set up a registry for the ‘small cell’ cancer Ann suffered from and has directly funded one of the research projects, which involves suppressing tumours.

The research discovered a natural protein called OPCML, which is found in normal ovarian tissue, is usually absent in ovarian tumours. The protein seems to inhibit tumour growth and if the gene that produces OPCML is faulty or switched off, the patient is very likely to develop ovarian cancer.

Further research has found that the OPCML gene is also switched off in brain and lung cancers and a drug developed to mimic the action of the protein is effective against them.

Peter said: “Clearly this research could have very wide implications and possibly even offer a treatment for ‘small cell’ ovarian cancer.”