THE FAMILY of a Shetland woman who died of oesophageal cancer has donated £25,000 to the University of Aberdeen for vital medical research into the disease.
Amanda Eunson was just 36 when she died in November 2021, following a short battle with the cancer. She had been diagnosed only four months earlier.
Amanda left behind her partner, David Reid, and their two sons, Joe and Bobby, who were aged 11 and two at the time of her death.
In her memory, her family and friends formed ‘Team Tranquility’, which raised £44,000 for causes close to their and Amanda’s hearts including Macmillan Cancer Support in Shetland, Liver Cancer UK and the university, where the funding will be used to lead national and international research into gastroesophageal cancer.
Team Tranquility’s fundraising activities included a day of events held in their community of Symbister.
They also decided to challenge themselves by completing an endurance assault course in memory of Amanda.
Amanda’s sister Marie Anderson, who was part the team, said: “Amanda’s partner David, our family members and I set up a GoFundMe page and had a fundraising day in our local boating club, which consisted of a raffle and a fish and chips lunch.
“Our team members and our family and friends did all the cooking and made a variety of desserts to sell on the day.
“All the fish was generously donated by local fishing boats and the raffles were kindly donated by local businesses throughout Shetland and from individual members of our community. We were overwhelmed by the response.
“We then decided we would also take on the challenge of Tough Mudder, an endurance event in which participants complete a muddy obstacle course consisting of 32 obstacles over a nine-mile run.
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“We thought this would be a challenge that could include the whole family and certainly one Amanda herself would have thought a right good laugh.
“We were completely blown away by the generosity and support from our community in Whalsay and throughout Shetland as a whole. The Shetland community never ceases to amaze me.
“We hope that by doing this we help to raise awareness of oesophageal and gastric cancer. We hope the money can be used to help fund research as it is not as common or well-known as other forms of cancer.”
The university said every penny raised by Team Tranquility will make a difference to the lives of people who are affected by gastroesophageal cancer, which is one of the most aggressive forms of the disease.
While effective treatments exist to control it, unfortunately only one in 10 patients diagnosed will beat the disease.
The University’s research team is led by professor of medical genetics Zosia Miedzybrodzka, who along with professor Russell Petty from the University of Dundee is working on clinical trials of the latest new targeted drugs for the disease as well as ‘bench to bedside’ laboratory research aiming to translate scientific breakthroughs into effective treatments.
Professor Miedzybrodzka said: “I am so grateful to Marie and the rest of Team Tranquility for all their fundraising efforts.
“All the funds 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 north-east Scotland gain access to the best possible treatments as well as aiming to develop the more effective treatments of the future.”
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