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Abbie’s Army

2145. Amanda Mifsud
2146. Ray Mifsud

Amanda and Ray Mifsud, from Ashford, lost their 6-year-old daughter, Abbie, to a Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) brain tumour, a highly malignant brain tumour that is found in part of the brain stem and almost exclusively affects children.

Amanda and Ray set up their charity ‘Abbie’s Army’, entirely run by volunteers, in 2012 to fund medical research into the rare childhood brain cancer and raise further awareness of the condition and to support children and their families. They have since given over £1.6 million of funding towards research projects, including new CAR-T clinical trials at Great Ormond Street Hospital and research posts and specific DIPG grant awards at the Institute of Cancer Research. The charity has built links with leading experts and medical institutions and now has an advisory panel on childhood brain cancer to support their research strategy and consider distribution of research funds. 

The award for Amanda and Ray coincides with Child Cancer Awareness Month, an annual national health campaign organised by major childhood cancer organisations to increase awareness of paediatric cancer and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure.

Congratulating Amanda and Ray on their award, the Rt Hon Damian Green, Amanda and Ray’s local MP for Ashford, said: 

“Amanda and Ray have been inspirational in their work to help research into rare child cancers. ‘Abbie’s Army’ is not just a fitting memorial to the daughter they lost, but a signal of what love and energy can achieve.”

Amanda and Ray said:

“We’ve been working for over a decade in a very privileged position, embedded in the research and ‘DIPG’ community. It allows us to fully understand the unmet need of those patients, who are our total motivation, and where we must progress to bring new options to them. Though we do not work for any kind of recognition we are delighted that our efforts have been recognised with this award.”

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