A new limited edition jersey unveiled by the Ospreys today will help raise much-needed funds for Velindre Cancer Centre's Stepping Stones Appeal.
The Ospreys confirmed Stepping Stones as its official charity for 2012/13 earlier this year, with the two organisations working together on a number of high profile events aiming to raise awareness of the charity and its work.
Velindre Cancer Centre launched the Stepping Stones Appeal, a lung cancer research programme, to both increase awareness of their work and to raise the money necessary to continue to fund and expand their research programmes.
Following the success of a number of fundraising initiatives including the Captains Climb to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, Mair’s Walk and the Stepping Stones Rugby Gala Dinners, over £350,000 has been invested enabling the Wales Cancer Bank to be able to collect lung cancer samples for the first time ever. These samples will then be used by researchers around the world to improve understanding of lung cancer, which will help in the search for new treatments.
The eye-catching design of the new Kooga manufactured jersey incorporates the green and blue colour scheme of the Stepping Stones logo with traditional Ospreys black, and features the charity’s logo on its left sleeve.
Just 1,000 of the shirts have been produced and it will only be available to buy exclusively from the Ospreys Club Shop at the Liberty Stadium or online at shop.ospreysrugby.com, with a donation from each purchase going straight to Stepping Stones. It will be worn by the Ospreys throughout this season’s LV= Cup campaign, making its debut when the region entertains Gloucester at the Liberty Stadium this Friday evening (KO 7.45pm).
Andrew Morris, Head of Fundraising at Velindre said:
“We are absolutely thrilled with the charity jersey created specifically for the Stepping Stones Appeal, it’s a fantastic design.
“Money raised for the Stepping Stones Appeal to date has allowed the Wales Cancer bank to begin collecting lung cancer samples from patients for the first time ever. These samples will then be used by researchers around the world in the search for new treatments for this deadly disease and to improve understanding of lung cancer.
“Until now very few lung cancer tissues are available for research because of the difficulty of obtaining them. Scientists from around the world will now be able to apply to the bank to use the samples as part of their lung cancer research studies so money raised from the jersey and other events we will be holding with the Ospreys will help us to continue this vital work.”
Andrew Hore, Chief Operations Officer at the Ospreys, said:
“The Stepping Stones Appeal is one that will already be familiar to Ospreys fans following the successful Captain’s Climb involving our very own Jonathan Humphreys, and we are delighted to be able to show our support for the charity through this new limited edition jersey.
“Our partnership will help to raise the profile of the charity even further, and the sale of the jersey will make a substantial financial contribution which will be boosted further by bucket collections at both LV= Cup games and the Christmas fixture against the Scarlets.
“Cancer is an illness that continues to blight the lives of many people so we are delighted to be helping Stepping Stones in a small way in their continued fight against lung cancer. We take our responsibility to the local community very seriously and it is important that we support causes which give so much to Ospreylians of all ages.”
There are nearly 2,200 people diagnosed with lung cancer in Wales each year, with an increasing number who have never smoked. More people are surviving cancer than ever before thanks to early detection and better treatment. Although lung cancer is the most common form of cancer death in Wales, lung cancer research has been relatively poorly supported compared to other higher profile forms of cancer. It is estimated by 2015 there will be a 30% increase in the most common forms of cancer in Wales.
The charity jersey is priced at £39.99 (children) and £49.99 (adults).
Notes to Editors
The Stepping Stones Appeal will provide:
- Funding for lung cancer research projects. It is increasingly difficult to fund research in medicine. Increased income means we will be able to provide support for Welsh lead research projects looking at improving patient care. Many scientists are dependent on short term grants and do not have permanent jobs.
- Educational grants to doctors, nurses and other health professionals involved in the care of lung cancer patients in Wales. This will help us to provide the best care possible for lung cancer patients.
- Equipment provision. Advances in technology mean that treatment is being delivered more efficiently and safely. The Stepping Stones Appeal will help purchase equipment to improve the way we treat lung cancer patients in Wales.
About Velindre Cancer Centre
Velindre Cancer Centre is the largest non - surgical cancer Hospital in Wales providing Radiotherapy, Chemotherapy and other specialised anti-cancer treatments for over half the people of Wales.
We have been providing support and care to cancer patients in South Wales for over 50 years. Every possible effort is made to ensure that each visit to Velindre is as comfortable as possible, and our experienced staff aim to provide high quality care to patients and their families.
On average every year Velindre Cancer Centre provides care, treatment and support for over 130,000 out patients and day cases.
It is this commitment to high quality care which means that Velindre is widely regarded as being a Centre of Excellence. We have a fully integrated award winning Therapies team which includes Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Dietetics, Speech and Language Therapy, Lymphoedema and Complementary Therapies.
Velindre Cancer Centre is the first Cancer Centre in Europe to have a totally integrated service for patients in most need – our Active Support Unit provides the highest standards of care and quality support to palliative care cancer patients.
More people in Wales survive cancer now than ever before thanks to early detection and better treatments. It is estimated that by 2015 there will be a 30% increase in the most common forms of cancer in Wales; we are determined to raise the money necessary to enable us to meet these new challenges.