Family donate £8k to gastroesophageal cancer research

Family donate £8k to gastroesophageal cancer research

The family of a local man who died of oesophageal cancer have donated almost £8,000 for vital medical research at the University of Aberdeen.

Jack Whytock's family held an event in Inverurie to raise money for GASTROCAN (Grampian Gastroesophageal Cancer Research Fund) after he died of the aggressive form of cancer in 2021.

GASTROCAN is the only appeal raising money specifically for research into stomach and oesophageal cancer – one of the most aggressive forms of the disease.

All funds donated to the GASTROCAN appeal are used to support local research efforts into gastroesophageal cancer, to benefit north-east patients and enable the University to lead national and international research projects.

The main aims of GASTROCAN include enabling local patients to benefit from the latest cutting-edge treatments for gastric and oesophageal cancer, helping to recruit the best doctors and researchers to work in the north of Scotland, and raising awareness of gastroesophageal cancer, to ensure patients recognise the symptoms and seek medical help earlier.

It was Mr Whytock's final wish that his loved ones raise awareness and money to help others living with the disease.

After a fundraising event at the Hopeville Social Club in Inverurie – organised by Mr Whytock’s sister-in-law, Christine Hay and her husband, Ian – the family raised £7,850 which will go to the GASTROCAN fund.

The cheque was presented to the University’s Community Stewardship Officer, Lynne Black, by Mr Whytock's son, Andrew Whytock, and daughter, Corrie Simpson.

Lynne said: “We are incredibly thankful to the family of Jack Whytock who have fundraised tirelessly. This impressive latest amount shows their determination to help others and raise awareness of gastroesophageal cancer. All funds will provide vital assistance to the research programme at the University of Aberdeen.”

The University of Aberdeen’s Professor of Medical Genetics Zosia Miedzybrodzka said: “I am so grateful to Christine, Ian and their family and friends for all their fundraising efforts on behalf of GASTROCAN.

“All the funds that the family raise will provide vital assistance for our research programme of clinical trials and laboratory research to develop better treatments for gastroesophageal cancer. Through this research, we are helping patients in the north-east gain access to the best possible treatments as well as aiming to develop the more effective treatments of the future.”