A year to remember: Celebrating Bowel Cancer UK's successful partnership with the BIA

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In this blog, Kelsey Lawrence, the Senior Corporate Partnerships Officer for Bowel Cancer UK, reflects on the highlights of the charity partnership with BIA during 2023. She concludes by extending gratitude to members and all who made the partnership impactful. 


On behalf of the Bowel Cancer UK team, thank you to everyone in the BIA community for embracing us so warmly and making this partnership such a success. As the Senior Corporate Partnerships Officer for Bowel Cancer UK, I’ve had the great privilege to get to work alongside your brilliant organisation. I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved together and wanted to take a moment to look back on our amazing year.

At the heart of our partnership was a touching tribute to the late Aisling Burnand CBE, someone who was deeply connected to Bowel Cancer UK and the BIA. Aisling's legacy became a driving force behind our work together and inspired our shared commitment to transforming the treatment and care for bowel cancer patients. As well as being a previous CEO of the BIA she was also a valued trustee of our charity who is greatly missed. We know that she’d be proud to see everything we’ve achieved together.

The year started in style with the annual BIA Gala Dinner. The flagship event saw 650 of you from across the BIA membership come together in London, for networking and captivating speeches, including from Dr Anisha Patel. Anisha shared her unique and moving perspective as both a bowel cancer patient and GP, honestly recounting the turbulent reality of living with and beyond the disease. Thanks to the incredible generosity of attendees, we raised over £30,000 on the night.   

Another highlight was the brand new '5 Biotech Wonders of the World' challenge. Teams leapt at the chance to cover long virtual distances from the BIA office in London to five Biotech hubs around the world. Excitingly after many days of fierce competition to cover the furthest distance, and raise the most money, team MaxCyte Sparks ultimately triumphed with Team Astex Athletes in second place and Gallagher Life Sciences Practice coming in third. Your collective efforts of walking, running, swimming, and cycling not only reached impressive distances but also symbolized the journey we’re making to a world where no one dies from bowel cancer.

Thanks to your determined support, an amazing sum of over £70,000 was raised for Bowel Cancer UK's crucial work making this one of the biggest charity partnerships we have had to date. This incredible sum of money will have a big impact and is enough to fund three pilot grants to test innovations that help patients get earlier diagnoses and improve their chances of survival.

Your support means we can help more people like Clare access new and innovative treatments that are right for them: “I think the statistics for people like me diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer are appalling. I want to help make sure others don't get the news I have, and research is the only way to improve treatments and find ways to prevent it too."

We’ve thoroughly enjoyed being part of the membership this year and have had the pleasure of meeting so many of you, hearing about your work and exploring ways we can work together. If you’d like to explore ways we can partner in the future, I’d be delighted to hear from you via [email protected] to continue to deepen the legacy of our partnership.

Thank you.

 

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