LOSING his sister to skin cancer at just 23-years-old has inspired Solihull teenager Alex Kirke to raise thousands of pounds for research into the deadly disease.
The 19-year-old rugby player organised a special rugby match, BBQ and auction at Old Silhillians Rugby Club in Solihull between Solihull School 1st XV and Solihull School Old Boys’ XV in memory of his sister Elise who died in December 2009.
The game raised £5,300 for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity, which funds research into skin cancer.
Alex, who grew up in Solihull but is studying mathematics at the University of Exeter, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have raised so much money for the hospital’s official charity from the match and I want to thank all the players for a brilliant game and everyone who came along on the day to support us.”
“Elise did a lot to help others and we know she would have really enjoyed the day. We’re really pleased that the funds we’ve raised will go directly to supporting research into immune treatments for melanoma.”
Dr Neil Steven, oncology consultant, received the cheque on behalf of the charity and added: “It has been a real privilege for me to have known Elise and her family.
“As so often, I was deeply moved not just by their fortitude and but also their generosity of spirit in adversity. Speaking personally, for our team in Birmingham treating people with melanoma and, if I may, for future patients with this disease, I want to thank Alex and the two teams for raising funds through this match.”
For more information about how you can support patients being treated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, visit www.qehb.org or contact 0121 371 4852.