Medical Research Foundation Fundraiser
1795. Robert Colvile
Robert Colvile, from London, is a journalist and think tanker who has raised over £100,000 to fund research projects with the Medical Research Foundation into autoimmune hepatitis in memory of his late wife, Andrea.
Andrea died in July 2020 at the age of 40 after a six month battle with autoimmune disease, leaving behind two young boys. Days after she died, Robert started a crowdfunding campaign to help him and the family make sense of the loss and support research into autoimmune disease, especially of the liver, which continues to be less understood by medical professionals. Receiving huge support in public donations, Robert has partnered with national charity ‘Medical Research Foundation’ to launch a new fund to support research into autoimmune hepatitis, with the charity matching continued donations made to Robert’s appeal.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“Losing your wife Andrea to the little-known disease autoimmune hepatitis at a tragically young age just after the birth of your second son is an earth shattering event that is hard for any of us to comprehend, let alone to imagine we could go through.
“And yet you responded with extraordinary courage and forbearance, and you wrote movingly about your love for Andrea and your experience of losing her. And in doing so, in communicating so well, you’ve raised over £100,000 and launched new research projects with the Medical Research Foundation.
“It’s a small thing, but there’s a little-known tradition in Downing Street, whereby every day the Prime Minister writes a thank you letter to recognise someone somewhere in our country for their service.
“And so today I am sending you such a letter, Robert, because you are a true Point of Light.”
“I was incredibly surprised and deeply humbled to receive this award. The work funded by the ‘Medical Research Foundation’ is genuinely life-saving and I’m so grateful that people were inspired by Andrea’s story to contribute to its work – and to become more aware of autoimmune hepatitis. This is a neglected disease but it’s one that blights the lives of thousands of people, predominantly women.”