There was much fun and fundraising at Wellbeing of Women’s Annual Lunch at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), generously sponsored by PwC and hosted by Sky presenter, Kay Burley.
Leading doctors, researchers and influential business women and guests came together to celebrate Wellbeing of Women’s pioneering research.
Professor Lesley Regan, Wellbeing of Women’s Vice President and the first female President of RCOG in 64 years, told guests how an early grant from the charity had helped shape her remarkable career. She is a renowned expert on recurrent miscarriage and has helped thousands of women start their families.
Kay, a huge champion of Wellbeing of Women, and Professor Regan, asked the audience to dig deep to help fund one of our researchers and guests generously donated a record sum.
Our new Research Training Fellow, Dr David Jeevan, told of his much needed research to develop an early test for ovarian cancer by using computer analysis to study hormone patterns in urine samples.
Dr Alex Ridout told the audience how her work, looking at how inflammation and infection can trigger preterm birth, has already helped high risk pregnant women to delay labour to safely deliver babies further into the pregnancy.
Dr Angharad Care, from the Harris Wellbeing Preterm Birth Centre in Liverpool, spoke movingly about the million plus babies and toddlers who
die every year as a direct result of preterm birth. She explained that just keeping a baby in the womb for an extra week hugely increases their chances of survival and lessens the risk of complex health issues. It would also save the NHS £1 billion annually.
Dr Nicola Tempest, whose work is supported by PwC, said the womb is the centre of the universe and that although it is where we all come from, it is very poorly understood. She is studying the role of stem cells in the womb lining and how they can lead to diseases like womb cancer and endometriosis.
Dr Emma Crosbie, a leading Consultant Gynaecological Cancer Surgeon, who sits on our Research Advisory Committee, the medical board who advise where we should spend our funds, appeared in a video from the University of Manchester and told of the exciting outcomes of Wellbeing of Women research into new treatments for womb cancer.
The number of women dying from the disease has gone up by 18% in the last 10 years and our researcher Dr Vanitha Sivilingham, at the University of Manchester, has successfully repurposed a diabetes drug called metformin as an anti-cancer treatment.
Dr Sarah Martin at the Barts Institute has discovered that a drug normally used to treat high blood pressure is an effective treatment for the 30% of womb cancer sufferers who don’t respond to the traditional treatment of chemotherapy.
Our Chairman, Sir Victor Blank, spoke about the need to find better treatments in women’s health care and how we wanted to help fund the Professor Lesley Regan’s of the future.
Tina Weaver, CEO of Wellbeing of Women, said women’s health remains vastly underfunded with only 2.48% of publicly funded money devoted to reproductive health and childbirth.
We would like to thank everyone who attended the lunch and supported our work to transform the lives the women and their babies.