Welcome to the latest edition of the makeabigdifference newsletter, your one-stop-shop for all the latest charity, cancer and fundraising news.
In our May newsletter we present the last of ‘The Big C’; where there this month we ask ‘Is there a natural cure for cancer?’
We also take a look at another holistic approach to cancer prevention by means of Green Tea; an ancient Chinese antioxidant recognised over the centuries for its impressive healing prowess.
The baby stork has flown over town for Impact support worker Robert Woods and girlfriend Dana as they celebrate the birth of their beautiful daughter, read on to see a picture of their gorgeous baby Maisie. Well done and congratulations Rob and Dana.
You can also read the latest cancer news which reveals findings to drug resistance in common childhood cancer Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
In this months Katie’s Corner, Katie talks about the Rotary Conference in Birmingham which she attended with Young Heroes’ Sharon Brown. As a charity we feel extremely privileged to have been invited for the second year running to promote Young Heroes and the services we provide.
We also share some amazing offers brought to you by easyfundraising.org.uk and some brilliant fundraising tips to keep the kids busy with summer whilst raising funds for Young Heroes.
Until next month, enjoy!
Latest Cancer News
Scientists uncover basis for drug resistance in common childhood cancer
US scientists say they have worked out why acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) – the most common form of childhood cancer – can come back after treatment.
A research team at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), discovered that a protein called BCL6 helps to protect ALL cells against treatment with tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) drugs such as imatinib (Glivec).
Although these drugs have changed the outlook for children and adults in recent years, in some cases treatment stops working and the cancer returns. This is thought to happen because TKI drugs don’t destroy the leukaemia stem cells that can ‘refuel’ the disease.
The researchers, whose findings are published in the journal Nature, looked at 22,000 genes in ALL cells to see whether any were switched on or off when treated with TKI drugs.
They noticed that levels of the BCL6 protein rose significantly following treatment. BCL6 was already known to be active in other cancers, such as lymphoma, but this is the first study to link it to leukaemia.
Further experiments revealed that BCL6 was helping to keep cancer cells alive following TKI treatment by switching off a ‘suicide’ gene called p53, which normally causes faulty or cancerous cells to die. In particular, BCL6 helps to preserve the leukaemia stem cells that can ‘regrow’ the cancer.
The researchers then showed that by blocking the activity of BCL6 with an experimental drug in mice with leukaemia, they were able to significantly increase the effectiveness of imatinib treatment and improve survival. They saw the same results when they combined the BCL6-blocking drug with nilotinib, a more potent TKI drug.
This research is only at an early stage, but it suggests that BCL6 may provide a target for the development of new therapies that boost the effectiveness of treatment for ALL and improve long-term survival.
Senior author Dr Markus Muschen, professor of laboratory medicine at UCSF, said that BCL6 acts “like an emergency mechanism, whereby tumour cells try to evade drug treatment”.
Dr Kat Arney, science information manager at Cancer Research UK, said: “These new results are exciting and could make a significant impact on the treatment of this type of leukaemia in the future. Although this research is only in the lab at the moment, we hope it will move quickly towards clinical trials in patients.”
Sourced from www.cancerresearchuk.org
Keep Voting for Deacon
Don’t forget there’s still time to vote for Deacon Doran in Venture Photography’s ‘Little Face of Venture’ competition.
Please get your votes in by no later than Midnight 30 June. We look forward to keeping you up to date and keep your fingers crossed for our little cutie!
Save with easyfundraising.org.uk
Impact Young Heroes are pleased to offer you the latest money saving offers from easyfundraising.org.uk.
Up to 2.5% donation
Until Thursday 26th May get 25% OFF, on Friday 27th get 20% OFF and Saturday 28th get 15% OFF. Use eVoucher code ‘DUAF‘ at checkout for the discount to apply! All this plus Free Delivery! Ends: 28/5/11
Three great codes from Homebase:
(1) ‘FURN15‘ – 15% OFF all furniture (excludes garden furniture and Schreiber fitted bedrooms).
(2) ‘FLOOR15‘ – 15% OFF all flooring and tiling (online exclusive).
(3) ‘EX20‘ – 20% OFF kitchens, bathrooms & Schreiber fitted bedrooms when you spend over £300.
Up to 50% OFF in the New Look sale.
Blog competition – win £250 dream outfit from New Look
The May SALE is now on with hundreds of bargains plus FREE delivery and FREE returns.
Raise more for Impact Young Heroes – Freemans have increased donations on fashion to 4% (usually 3%) until 28/5/11.
Young Heroes would like to say a huge congratulations to Impact support worker Robert Woods and girlfriend Dana Middlemiss on the birth of their beautiful daughter Maisie Bryony Woods.
Maisie was welcomed into the world on 6th May 2011 at Sheffield’s Jessop Hospital weighing exactly 6lb. On behalf of myself and all your friends at Impact we wish you all the very best and send our love. Well Done!
Green Tea – Alternative Healing
What green tea is
Green tea is a drink made from the dried leaves of the Asian plant Camellia sinesis. This tea is drunk widely across Asia. The rates of many cancers are much lower in Asia than other parts of the world. Some people believe this is because of the high intake of green tea.
Why some people with cancer use green tea
Although there is no real evidence that green tea can help with cancer, some people take it because they believe it might:
- Boost their immune system and fight their cancer
- Improve health, energy levels and well being
- Get rid of toxins in the body
- Give them some control over their cancer and its treatment
- Treat their cancer if conventional treatment can no longer offer a possible cure
People also use green tea to try and reduce their risk of getting cancer. There is some evidence from early studies of green tea to suggest it may reduce the risk of some cancers. But at the moment the evidence is not strong enough to know this for sure.
More recently black tea has also been promoted as an anti cancer agent. Black tea comes from the same plant as green tea. But black tea is made from the fermented leaves of the plant.
Research into green tea and cancer
Some laboratory studies have shown that extracts from green tea can stop cancer cells from growing. Green tea contains substances called polyphenols, which scientists think give it antioxidant properties. But while these lab results are encouraging, we need evidence from human studies to prove them.
The evidence we have at the moment from human studies is mixed. A meta analysis published in 2006 suggested that green tea may lower the risk of breast cancer. But an earlier meta analysis could not find any significant evidence to support a reduction in risk of breast cancer.
Other studies are also conflicting. A meta analysis in 2006 concluded there was not enough evidence to show that green or black tea can help prevent bowel cancer, in spite of some promising results in the lab.
A Chinese study of more than 18,000 men, published in 2002, found that green tea drinkers were about half as likely to develop cancer of the stomach or food pipe as men who drank little tea . But a systematic review in 2004 was unable to show that green tea could prevent stomach or intestinal cancer.
It has also been suggested that green tea may help prevent prostate cancer. However, a study of almost 20,000 Japanese men, published in the British Journal of Cancer in 2006, found no relationship between green tea and prostate cancer.
In July 2009, Cochrane published a review of 51 studies which included over 1.5 million people. This review was looking for a link between drinking green tea and having a lower risk of cancer. The cancers included in the review were digestive tract, breast, bladder, prostate and lung cancer as well as cancer of the mouth. They conclude that the research so far is conflicting which means that green tea remains unproven in preventing cancer. They say it is safe to drink in moderate amounts, 3 to 5 cups a day. So we really need more evidence from randomised controlled clinical trials to help us know whether green tea has a role in preventing cancer. At the moment it is impossible to draw any firm conclusions because:
- Only a small number of studies have been done
- There is a lack of randomised controlled trials
- There are differences in lifestyle factors within studies (most studies have been done in East Asia)
- Different amounts of tea have been taken within the studies
- There is possible interaction with other treatments or diet supplements used by people in the studies
Taking green tea
Like most teas on the market, green tea comes as ready made tea bags or leaves you add to boiling water. You use one tea bag or 1 to 2 teaspoons of the dried leaves per cup.
There are conflicting views on how many cups you should drink each day to get a possible benefit. Manufacturers often suggest taking between 3 and 5 cups a day. Remember most green tea contains caffeine so it will act as a stimulant and keep you awake if you drink it before bed. Some manufacturers sell decaffeinated green tea. But we don’t know whether removing the caffeine could reduce the possible antioxidant effects.
You can also buy green tea as capsules. Because green tea is sold as a herbal supplement in most countries, manufacturers don’t have to prove that they are safe or even have any health benefits. Labels on these usually recommend you take 3 capsules a day. But this does not necessarily mean the product or dose has been fully tested. So our advice is to buy with caution.
Although generally thought to be safe to take, green tea can cause sickness and an upset stomach. Because green tea contains caffeine it is a stimulant and if taken in large amounts can cause:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Passing urine often
Using green tea safely
As green tea is a herbal product it won’t necessarily have been thoroughly tested for interactions with foods, drugs or other supplements. This means it is difficult to know for sure how safe it is. Like any other herbal product or drug, it may affect how you absorb drugs and change the way some drugs work.
Recent research has raised concerns about a possible interaction between green tea and the drug bortezomib (Velcade). Animal research has suggested that green tea may stop Velcade from working. Do remember that we’d need much more research to find out if green tea has the same effect in humans. But it is a concern. If you are on Velcade, you may want to avoid green tea and its extract EGCG, which some people take as a supplement in liquid or capsules. If you have any worries, talk it over with your cancer specialist.
There are no reports of any other harmful effects from using green tea. Our advice is to always read the product labels. And if you are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should check with your doctor about safety.
It is important to remember that green tea is a source of caffeine. For this reason, pregnant or breast feeding mothers, who are advised to avoid high caffeine doses, should use it with caution.
Always check with your doctor before you start using any type of complementary or alternative therapy. It is very important to find out all you can about the therapy before deciding to use it. We certainly don’t recommend that you replace your conventional cancer treatment with any type of supplement like green tea. It may be safe to take it alongside your cancer treatment but check with your doctor first to make sure.
Our wonderful friends from Birmingham rotary recently invited Impact Young Heroes to attend their conference.
Myself and Sharon Brown were honoured to join them, my adventure started when I caught the train to meet Sharon in Bradford, we then travelled to Sheffield to drop the staff off who were covering for the weekend at Impact Living. It gave me a chance to have a tour around Wilfred Drive and see the fantastic accommodation and support Impact Living provides.
We then set off to Birmingham, we had a good journey and didn’t get too lost (apart from going round the roundabout several times!) after settling into the hotel and grabbing a bite to eat an early night was had as we needed to be up early.
Sharon awoke bright eyed and raring to go, I think I woke up around lunchtime! We set up and waited for our rotary friends to visit.
When the conference had finished we packed up and made our way home (after a visit to the Cadbury World shop, well we were only 10 minutes away). 🙂
We would like to say thank you to our Rotary friends for always welcoming us and making us comfortable and a special thank you to David and Sue Butler for allowing us to attend.
See you next month at Katie’s corner!
Fundraising Idea of the Month
It’s never too early to start fundraising. Make the most of your kids’ time at home over the school holidays by helping them raise money and awareness for Young Heroes.
Kids Fundraising – Doing Odd Jobs for Charity
Doing odd jobs in exchange for charitable donations is a wonderful way to fill kids’ days during the summer holidays. It also fosters a strong work ethic.
Depending on the children’s ages, they can perform a variety of tasks in their community, including:
- Gardening – Mowing the lawn, tidying the garden, cleaning gutters, raking leaves
- Household chores – Washing windows, house cleaning and tidying
- Odd jobs – Running to the shop, dog walking
Your child can set a suggested donation amount for each task or let donors choose the amount based on the size of the job.
It may seem that children are limited in the fundraising tasks they can do, but in fact there are a lot of things they can do that others can’t; for example, helping an elderly neighbour. This will make them feel very important and also help a charity at the same time.
Sponsored Tasks for Kids’ Fundraising Over Summer Break
Children can ask others to sponsor them over the summer break as they perform any number of sponsored tasks. Some popular ideas include:
- Going without – chocolate, TV, video games, sleeping late
- Sponsored bike ride
- Crazy ideas – baked bean bath, fancy dress, dying their hair a funny colour
You can even ask friends and relatives to sponsor a haircut, where the hair is donated to wig makers for a children’s cancer charity. It’s a great way to get a haircut for the new school year and help others too.
‘The Big C’
Welcome to the final installment of ‘The Big C’ where this month we ask………
Is there a natural cure for cancer?
Cancer is today’s epidemic. Everyone’s life has been touched by someone who has cancer, there was a time when cancer was feared and rare but not anymore. It is still feared but sadly it is expected as so many people are diagnosed with it.
The million dollar question is “is there a natural cure?”
The answer is not an easy one. There is not one simple answer. There is not a mystery product or power fruit that when used or consumed will magically react with your body and defeat cancer.
Cancer is a product of our culture and the lifestyles that have developed out of it. Our diets, lack of exercise, abundance or processed foods and the use of chemicals that are used in products are all creating an environment that harvests cancerous cells and lowers our immune systems.
If you have currently escaped the bonds of cancer then you must take action to prevent it coming your way. For those that are battling cancer or have been affected by cancer at one point in life you too can make changes that will enhance your life and heighten your chances or passing it by.
Diet has an enormous impact on the bodies’ immune system and its ability to function. The enormous consumption of meat has been related to the development of cancerous cells; adopt the habit of eating meat sparingly. Fruits and vegetables are of enormous help to improving the immune system especially brightly colored ones as they contain the needed cancer fighting properties. Eliminate salt. Avoid cooking in fat in a frying pan or on the BBQ as they can produce cancerous chemicals. Avoid processed foods and try to stick to foods that grow. Drink water always! Avoid drinking coffee, alcohol and soda in large quantities or at all if possible.
Get outside to have exposure to the sun and to benefit from the outdoor air. Exercise daily and out of doors if possible to improve physical fitness and self happiness. Try to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Train yourself to be positive and optimistic. Get involved in life.
Really, the tip to avoiding cancer if general common sense; to live a healthy lifestyle, in theory this is easy but in reality it requires self discipline and the ability and desire to change certain unhealthy habits that will ensure a healthy and happy life.
Sourced from http://www.worldwidehealth.com
Vote for Young Heroes to be ‘Cause of the Month’
Every month, easyfundraising permit members of the public to nominate which of the causes registered with them should be eligible for a £200 donation. This cash award is donated by organisations who wish to aid many valuable causes across the World.
Please show your support to Young Heroes and follow the Link: http://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/blog/could-your-cause-be-our-cause-of-the-month and add your comment as to why you think Young Heroes should be shortlisted for June 2011’s easyfundraising Cause of the Month.
Voting will begin on the 1st June 2011, with 10 charities short listed mid month for the public to vote their favourite. Voting will close on the last day of the month and the cause with the most fairly cast votes will win a £200 donation.