The power of a cricket match

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by Wellbeing of Women | 4th Aug 2020

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Please note: This is now a past event

Technical issues at the start of the webinar meant that a video was played without sound. Please find it here.

This year will see the 32nd Annual Cricket Match in aid of Wellbeing of Women.

And while it will be a little different, held behind closed doors with no spectators, we hope that it will still raise significant funds for women’s health research.

This summer, you can take part in two exciting events, including an online auction packed with breathtaking getaways and incredible dining experiences, and a virtual Q&A with cricketing legends Clare Connor, Brian Lara* and Andrew Strauss.

A huge thank you for supporting this cricket match over the years, as a result of which almost £8 million has been invested in research into a wide range of women’s health issues.

Many of the projects this brilliant day has funded every year have been entry-level research scholarships as Wellbeing of Women is keen to attract early stage researchers to the field of women’s health. Through the course of their funded projects they receive essential training and experience that allows them to progress their career.

For example Nina Wietek, who was undertaking cricket-funded research into a new technique to diagnose ovarian cancer in the Fallopian tubes, has gone on to receive a prestigious Research and Training Fellowship from Cancer Research UK. Your support has enabled her to gain the sufficient experience to secure this studentship.

Here are just some of the projects - past and present - which wouldn't have started without your support.

New project: Saving young lives


Dr Emily Cornish’s project at UCL into a drug to treat rare placental disorders in pregnancy is ongoing, but already her research has had promising early results.

She is studying three placental disorders that can cause recurrent miscarriages, stillbirth or chronic health conditions in those babies that do survive. Scientists still don’t know what causes them and sadly, they can only be diagnosed once a pregnancy has already ended. Dr Cornish hopes that “discovering more about how these conditions cause recurrent pregnancy loss will lead to the identification of new treatments".

The team at UCL has already prevented recurrence of one of the disorders in four women by giving them medicine usually used to prevent immune rejection of kidney transplants.

“As it is safe in pregnancy,” says Dr Cornish, “we believe it could also improve pregnancy outcomes for women with related placental disorders or with unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss.”

Thanks to your support of this research, we could come one step closer to understanding these rare and devastating conditions - and importantly, preventing tragic losses.

New project: Treating ovarian cancer


More than 7,400 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year and while chemotherapy and surgery may treat the cancer at first, most women will find that the disease comes back within a couple of years – this time, resistant to chemotherapy.

Thousands of women urgently need an effective treatment for this cancer, which is why Dr Samar Elorbany of Queen Mary University of London is exploring new options.

Thanks to funds raised at the cricket match, Wellbeing of Women were able to award Dr Samar Elorbany an entry level grant for her work exploring potential new immunotherapy drugs to improve survival or delay or prevent relapse of the most common type of ovarian cancer. Excellent work to date has enabled Dr Elorbany to secure follow-on funding from Wellbeing of Women to fund her PhD.

Cancers are made up of dangerous cells, but also ‘normal’ cells that have been corrupted by the cancer to help it survive and spread. But Dr Elorbany thinks there may be a way to re-educate some of these ‘normal’ cells – the immune cells – so that they fight the cancer instead.

Dr Elorbany is studying these immune cells indepth to better understand them and is exploring the potential drugs that could re-programme them in this way.

If successful, Dr Elorbany’s project could take us one step further to unlocking new treatments for high-grade serous ovarian cancer and changing the lives of thousands of women.

Past project: Protecting newborn babies from brain damage


Up to three in every 1000 babies born in the UK will be affected by brain damage, often with tragic consequences.

Therapeutic cooling administered immediately to a newborn baby following brain damage caused by oxygen starvation has been a significant advance in treatment - however, cooling only prevents brain damage in one in seven babies treated.

Professor Nikki Robertson at UCL has worked to identify new innovative ways to improve the efficacy of cooling treatments, to save even more babies.

Past project: Tackling difficult-to-treat cancers


In the UK, over 50 women every day are diagnosed with a gynaecological cancer, with 7,700 dying from these cruel diseases every year.

Using Annual Cricket Match funding, Dr Alexandra Taylor at the Royal Marsden Hospital pioneered the use of the innovative Cyberknife® technology which delivers targeted radiotherapy to treat gynaecological cancers.

This improves treatment by enabling higher doses of radiotherapy to be delivered without affecting surrounding tissue and organs.

Past project: Understanding premature birth


60,000 babies are born prematurely every year in the UK and it is the biggest cause of newborn deaths, yet we still don’t fully understand why premature birth happens.

With funding from the Wellbeing of Women Annual Cricket Match, we set up a Preterm Birth Research Centre in Liverpool to greatly advance our understanding of the causes of preterm birth and, most importantly, develop new ways to prevent it.

This is just a snapshot of the progress being made in women's health, and lives being saved, thanks to your support of this fantastic day.

Thank you for helping us safeguard the future of women's health.

*Subject to availability.