Top honour for trust founder - The Evesham Observer

Top honour for trust founder

Evesham Editorial 4th May, 2018   0

AN TIRELESS Evesham health campaigner has been recognised with a British Empire Medal for services to leukaemia research for her work with the trust set up in memory of her much-loved daughter.

Sue Sollis is a founder member of the Tracy Sollis Leukaemia Trust which was set up in memory of Tracy, a pupil at Prince Henry’s in 1993 when she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia.

Tragically, her brave battle against the disease was lost, following a failed bone marrow transplant in February 1995, aged just 15.

Throughout her illness, Tracy was always determined to help fellow sufferers and the much-loved charity continues in her memory.

Since her passing, the popular town charity has continued to flourish and now provides complementary therapists who see between 500 and 600 patients a year free of charge.

Short breaks are also offered to patients battling the disease by the trust which regularly fund-raises in the community with concerts such as the recent evening by Gordon Giltrap at the Fleece Inn which raised £1,155 for the charity.

Achievements of the charity include the Tracy Sollis Laboratory which was officially opened by HRH The Duchess of Kent in 1996.

The laboratory is situated in the grounds of The Royal Free Hospital, London and is run by The Anthony Nolan Research Institute to carry out pioneering research to improve the lives of all those affected by leukaemia.

Speaking to the Observer, Mrs Sollis said: “It was really nice to have everyone together and take friends, family and supporters to the Guildhall to celebrate because it is a team effort.”

“What has been achieved since the trust began wouldn’t have been possible without the wonderful support of the people of Evesham and this award is as much for them as myself.”

The dedicated campaigner hopes the award will raise awareness of the charity and the work which has been achieved in the past two decades.

“We want to continue to strive for earlier diagnoses which will help towards starting treatment,” she said.

“Treatment and understanding of the disease has improved so much since Tracy was diagnosed.”

After hearing she had been recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours list, Mrs Sollis said: “It was a real surprise to me to receive the award but such a great privilege and honour.

“Tracy was an inspiration to me and everyone who knew her and just a remarkable person who always put other people first,” she said.

Mrs Sollis is one of four medallists who were honoured at the ceremony last Thursday (April 26).

The charity will hold its AGM at the Fleece Inn in Bretforton on Monday, May 21 from 7.30pm and everyone is welcome to attend.

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