Beryl Thyer Memorial Africa Trust: supporting African children that suffer from Burkitt lymphoma cancer

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Archive for October, 2012

BTMAT Scholars

Saturday October 13 was a notable day for BTMAT. Earlier this year we selected two medical students from Liverpool University, who had responded to our advertisement offering Scholarships for a specific research study in two of our Cameroonian hospitals.

They will travel to Cameroon in the summer of 2013. On Saturday they came to Peter’s home in Warkton so that we could meet them; trial by luncheon.

The two young ladies – Abigail Best and Rebecca Kuruvilla – met Michael, Anita, Alan and Peter. It was a happy and positive meeting. The girls lived up to the mental picture we had formed of them from their CVs. They are well-informed, widely travelled, interested and experienced in global health matters. For four hours we were able to offer advice and answer their questions. We were all impressed with them; we think they had a favourable impression of us.

Welcome on board Abigail and Rebecca!

Rebecca (left of centre) and Abigail (right of centre), with Trustee Alan (left), Michael (centre), and Anita (right).


SIOP London 2012

A week of quite intense meetings at the 44th Annual Congress of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology ended October 9th. Prof Hesseling came from Capetown, Dr Francine and Nurse Vera came from Cameroon; the latter on a well-deserved SIOP Scholarship. BTMAT Trustees Peter and Paul were also there.

Two thousand doctors and nurses from all over the world were there. It was a heart-warming experience to be among so many colleagues, from 170 countries, all of whom were dedicated to the care of children with cancer in their own countries.

Cameroon was well represented. Vera’s two presentations were warmly received. Francine’s poster presentation displaying her study on the causes of delay in the diagnosis and treatment of children with cancer admitted to her hospital won the prize for best poster. BTMAT and our work in Cameroon remains firmly on the global radar of people concerned with child cancer.

Refreshing non-medical intervals occurred; Faryl our Patron sung before the huge audience in the Barbican at the Opening Ceremony; SIOP people were invited to the House of Lords for dinner one evening. Prof Hesseling and Peter were there. The Annual Gala Dinner at the end of the Congress was held in the magnificent Guildhall. Finally, we treated ourselves to a performance of Swan Lake at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. You may imagine what an experience that might be for our dear Cameroonian colleagues.

The next major SIOP Congress is to be held in Hong Kong in 2013. It is unlikely we will go there. The next African SIOP meeting will be in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in 2014. It will be very relevant for BTMAT to be at that one.


Francine with prize-winning poster, left; Faryl, right.