A retired family man raised £63,000 with the help of loved ones to further treatment for brain tumour patients.
In December 2021, Richard Sullivan, from Northampton, received the news that he had a malignant brain tumour. Prior to this, his focus was travelling with his wife and improving his golf handicap.
He was so impressed after receiving treatment at St George’s Hospital in Tooting and at the Royal Marsden, a specialist cancer treatment hospital, that he decided to raise money that would assist future patients.
He set up project21forlife.com in association with the John King Brain Tumour Foundation. Its aim is to raise funds through his family, friends and business colleagues.
The money raised will be used for specific projects at the Neurosurgical Department in St George’s and the Royal Marsden Neuro Oncology Unit.
At St George’s this year the funds will go towards the building of a new roof garden at their neuro unit.
At Royal Marsden, it will fund a research manager to support clinical trials into the treatment of brain tumours.
Sullivan said: “When I set up project21forlife I reflected on St Francis of Assisi’s sage advice: ‘start by doing what is necessary, then do what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible’.
“The commitment with which our many friends and family have supported our challenges has meant we’ve achieved for more than I ever thought possible.
“I had not anticipated the enthusiasm with which people have got behind our challenges.
“The funds we have raised will certainly make a positive difference to the lives of many brain tumour patients.”
Friends and family of Sullivan raised over £63,000 by doing a plethora of activites including paddle boarding the 21-mile-long Loch Ness, playing 21 sets of tennis, and cycling to 21 golf courses in Leicestershire.
So far they have garnered nearly 700 supporters.
Leading British Neurosurgeon Henry Marsh CBE said: “The Neuro ICU Roof Garden will quite literally change lives for many patients.
“The garden will make a huge difference to recovery and will also support families and staff, especially when privacy is needed for very difficult conversations.
“A connection with nature is so beneficial for spiritual well-being and resilience.”
Featured image: Richard Sullivan/ Project21forlife