There are hundreds of people involved in the Sheffield Scanner appeal, from fundraisers and patients, to the researchers and clinicians who will put the Scanner to use. We’ve collected a variety of stories to show how people will benefit from the Sheffield Scanner, and how others are helping to make it a reality.
Sheffield Scanner team taking on the Sheffield 10K 2018
Our second year having a team for the Sheffield 10K was a great success! A massive thank you and congratulations to everyone on the University team who took part this year.
We’re incredibly grateful for the staff, students and friends of the University who took part in the run on Sunday 23 September for the Sheffield Scanner. The team altogether have raised more than £3,000 for the campaign.
The Big Walk 2018: The results are in
After the main event in June we’ve totalled all the donations towards the Big Walk 2018 and an amazing £80,000 has been raised. A total of 319 intrepid members of staff, students, alumni and friends of the University came together and covered over 8,500 miles – the equivalent of walking from Sheffield to Darwin in Northern Australia.
Thank you to everyone who took part walking, sponsored a walker, or volunteered on the day to make it all possible.
Transforming research - Parkinson's
The Sheffield Scanner will help our research into the mechanisms behind a variety of diseases, as well as helping the development of new treatment options. We spoke to Andrew about his experience of being diagnosed with and living with Parkinson’s disease, and to Professor Oliver Bandmann, one of our leading neurology researchers, about how the Sheffield Scanner will benefit our research.
Our supporters - The Big Walk 2018
Before and during the Big Walk 2018 we met hundreds of staff, students, alumni and friends of the University who were passionate about taking on the challenge and supporting the Sheffield Scanner.
James Hill took part in the Big Walk in 2015 and 2017, and wanted to come back for more in 2018 having loved the atmosphere. James also understood the importance of the cause he was supporting:
“The Sheffield Scanner is a vital piece of medical machinery that can help many people in and around Sheffield. It will also help our Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health, and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals evolve further with vital research to find preventative or curable measures to life threatening illnesses.”
“When it comes to fundraising, fancy dress has always been a big hit with me. For the 2015 Big Walk I dressed up as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz … With that in mind, I have managed to ‘persuade’ various colleagues across Student Services to join me in another fancy dress themed walk as ‘The Student Services Superheroes’.”
Dr Emily Goodall saw the benefits that the Big Walk can have on mental health and used it as a way to promote wellbeing among PhD students while supporting a great cause:
“I had a great experience last year, with the training walks, team spirit, fresh air, countryside and meeting some amazing people along the way. I realised that the event is actually a great thing for wellbeing and from my role at the University I know there is a need to raise awareness around and look after the wellbeing of our PhD student population. So I decided to pull a team together of PhD students, supervisors and staff from across the University - under the team name #ResearchWell.
“The second reason is the scanner itself. Neurodegeneration, and the importance of early diagnosis, is a cause very close to my heart as a former researcher in the Department of Neuroscience for many years.”
Sheffield Scanner fly-through
Take a look at a virtual fly-through of the new Sheffield Scanner facility, and read more about this fantastic new development coming soon to Sheffield.
Meet Tracy Woodward, from the University of Sheffield Medical School, who has seen the debilitating effects of Motor Neurone Disease (MND) and Parkinson's Disease within her family. The Sheffield Scanner will accelerate research into both of these conditions, leading to improved treatments that could change, or even save, patients' lives.
Our supporters - Sheffield Half-Marathon 2018
After being diagnosed with type one diabetes Hannah Postles thought her running life was over, but in 2018 she decided the Sheffield Scanner was the perfect cause to challenge that idea.
“At the start of this year, I decided to start running again and set myself the goal of the Half Marathon, raising money for the Scanner in the process. I never want to let my diabetes stop me from doing anything and, although it hasn’t been easy training, I am learning a lot more about how to manage my condition. My first major success was actually getting myself to the gym to do my first run, which went far better than I expected. Since then, I've felt more and more confident and it feels really good to be exercising again - physically and mentally.”
Martin Brook is a Computational Imaging Scientist at the University, and is an expert in the MRI technology within the Scanner. He took on the Sheffield 10k in 2017 in support of the Sheffield Scanner.
“I've worked for the University for 15 years and I've been directly involved in supporting MRI research for most of this time, and I've seen the benefits of this technology first hand. So I'm excited about the possibilities offered by MRI-PET and that's why I wanted to support the appeal.”
“I took part in the Big Walk One Day Challenge last year but I missed out on taking part in the Big Walk this year because I was recovering from surgery, so when the opportunity to take part in the Sheffield 10K came along I jumped at the chance.”
Marie Hezseltine, Senior Financial Support Officer at the University, was spurred on to support the Sheffield Scanner campaign having lost two close family members to cancer.
“My sister-in-law was diagnosed with cancer in January 2016 and then in June of the same year I lost my dad to cancer,”
“Unfortunately, after fighting for the last year my sister-in-law also lost her battle with cancer.
“I thought if I could do something to help raise money for the new scanner that could identify major diseases like cancer, dementia and MND – and help to keep families together then I needed to do it.
“It is so important for Sheffield to have its own scanner in order to help treat patients quicker and closer to their own homes.”
Transforming research - cancer
The Sheffield Scanner will help our research into the mechanisms behind a variety of diseases, as well as helping the development of new treatment options. We spoke to Brian about being diagnosed with and treated for lung cancer, and to Dr Matthew Hatton, about how the Sheffield Scanner will improve our radiotherapy treatment and increase the number of patients we can help.
Our supporters - The Big Walk 2017
Not all support for the Sheffield Scanner has come through running though. When Wendy Jackson saw the Big Walk 2017 was passing her front door at the 39 mile mark she welcomed walkers into her home to provide rest and refuelling.
“We knew straight away that we wanted to get involved in supporting the campaign but recognised our limitations in respect of a 50 mile walk! When we saw the route was literally passing our door, it seemed obvious to provide some hospitality.”
“We are working closely with lots of University volunteers and it feels great to be part of the team. I can't wait to see the head-torches coming down the riverside and up the lane as the night falls.”
Gavin Brown and the team from Accommodation and Commercial Services provided welcome support and sustenance during the Big Walk 2017 and will be reprising their role in 2018. Describing the 2017 event Gavin said:
“I’m one of several volunteers from ACS and Unicus supporting the Big Walk by providing food and drink. We wanted to do our bit to support the event. Some of our colleagues are taking part in the walk, and David Whittaker and Peter Anstess are even considering running it!
“I’m looking forward to being there cheering on the walkers and providing much needed refreshments to boost everyone's spirits.”
Transforming research - MND
Gemma Middleton is currently living with MND and spoke to us about what her day-to-day life is like. We also spoke with Professor Christopher McDermott about how MRI-PET will help us in the fight to detect and treat this devastating disease.
Take a look below to read about some of the research areas that will benefit from the MRI-PET scanner.
Changing the way we diagnose neurodegenerative diseases
Current treatments for neurodegenerative diseases such as Motor Neurone Disease (also known as ALS in the United States), Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease focus on alleviating symptoms and, at best, provide only modest benefit. There is an urgent need to develop new treatments that can slow or halt the progression of disease and diagnose conditions earlier so that treatments can be introduced before irreversible brain damage has occurred.
The ability to combine more detailed information about metabolic abnormalities with structural resolution will enable us to identify early risk factors and discover novel imaging biomarkers. This will overcome a major barrier to early diagnosis and provide a more accurate diagnosis, staging and prognosis of disease.
Transforming treatment for cancer patients
Approximately 50% of all cancer patients will receive radiotherapy to shrink tumours and kill cancer cells. Two of the major challenges in radiotherapy are to accurately define the tumour and deliver the highest dose of radiotherapy to the target whilst sparing the surrounding healthy tissue. The advanced sensitivity available through MRI-PET has the potential to improve treatment of a range of previously hard to reach cancers and will enable us to precisely target a tumour and adjust treatment, in-near real-time, according to how the cancer is responding in each individual patient.
Research has also demonstrated that MRI-PET is superior in the detection and diagnosis of different cancers, especially small tumours.
Reducing long-term disability in acute stroke patients
Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and the biggest cause of adult disability. Most strokes are caused by a blockage of one or more blood vessels in the brain with a blood clot. Research shows that thrombectomy (removing the blood clot from the brain using specialised catheters) can dramatically reduce disability after a stroke if the treatment is started within 6 hours.
Unfortunately, most people arrive in hospital too late for such treatment as in many cases their brains are already too severely injured. MRI-PET could be used in acute stroke cases to locate areas of the brain that could still be saved, which current technology is not sensitive enough to identify. This could have an immense impact on treatment and in many more patients, long-term disability might be reduced.