Lynn Lucas - NHS Fundraising Hero

Devoted mum Lynn Lucas has raised more than £2 million to fund research into the rare cancer which killed her teenage son.

Lynn’s son Chris was a happy 15-year-old who loved playing sports, going to theme parks and cheering on his beloved Newcastle United, when he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, rhabdomyosarcoma in July 1997.

After twice battling back from the disease, achieving great GCSE results and starting a career in graphic design, the cancer finally took Chris after three years. He passed away with his mum and dad, also called Lynn, and brother David, by his bedside on 15th July, 2000. He was just 18 years old.

Lynn, from Wallsend, North Tyneside, channeled her grief into creating the charity, The Chris Lucas Trust, which hopes to help develop new targeted therapies so that other families don’t suffer the same heartbreaking loss.

Through fundraising events such as the Great North Bike Ride, which attracts up to 2,000 cyclists from across the country, and the Jingle Bell Walk, Lynn and her husband have raised £2.4million.

The money has paid the salaries of two scientific medical researchers based at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Surrey for the last 12 years.

In 2013 the medical team at The Institute of Cancer Research at Royal Marsden announced a new breakthrough which could help treat cancer in children, a study which would not have been possible without Lynn's funding.

Scientists said a dual-pronged strategy using two experimental cancer drugs together could successfully slow down tumour growth and block off the escape routes it uses to become resistant to treatment.

Lynn, says: “We just wanted to create a legacy for Chris and hopefully help other children. It can be hard work, but it’s our life now: it keeps us focused, keeps us positive.”