Scientists get £21k for cancer project

From left Rory O'Neill,  Coun Maureen Dennis, Helen Lynn, and Cheryl Wray, a fundraising helper. EMN-170818-145736001
From left Rory O'Neill, Coun Maureen Dennis, Helen Lynn, and Cheryl Wray, a fundraising helper. EMN-170818-145736001

A team of researchers looking into cancer prevention have benefitted from more than £21,000 to fund research.

For 17 years, Coun Maureen Dennis has been fundraising after she became aware of increased cases of cancer, which could be linked to pesticides and herbicides used in farming.

Mostly through baking hundreds of thousands of cakes in the early hours and selling produce, Maureen has raised £21, 177.61.

Last week, Coun Dennis presented a cheque to Professor Rory O’Neill and senior researcher Helen Lynn.

Rory O’Neill, from the Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety Research Group, said: “You would think that it would be healthier living in the countryside, but this is not the case. In this part of Lincolnshire cancer is bucking the national trend and is on the increase.”

The increased cancer issue was raised by Coun Dennis, with the help of then MP Sir Richard Body.

A meeting of Lincolnshire Against Cancer, Women’s Environmental Network and PEX Action on Pesticide Exposure attracted more than 100 worried people.

Sir Richard Body then tirelessly campaigned on the issue, and has congratulated Coun Dennis on her work. He said: “There wouldn’t be, in this little corner of England, an awareness of pesticides but for her.”

Rory is also a coordinator of Hazards Zero Cancer campaign - the Alliance for Cancer Prevention and the International Trade Union Confederation, and editor of Hazards magazine.

He said: “This donation will help with evaluation of potential occupational and environment risk factors for cancer, with particular reference to breast caner, in the Boston area and similar rural and semi-rural environments.”

Coun Dennis will no longer be fundraising. Those interested in taking over can email maureen.dennis@boston.gov.uk