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Tim Woollcott, Electronics and Electrical Engineering student from Swansea University lost his fight against cancer in February this year age 21, fifty-three weeks to the day from hearing the diagnosis that he had a very rare form of young person’s bone and soft tissue cancer, Ewing’s Sarcoma.
There are between 80 to 100 cases only of Ewing’s Sarcoma each year in the whole of the UK and last year Tim was number 3. Tim, who came from Dawlish Warren, spent most of this time as an in-patient in hospital either in Exeter or Birmingham, in traction, receiving the most aggressive chemotherapy drugs available, having treatment for side effects of chemo and for 4 operations, including high level amputation of his leg. Throughout all this time Tim remained positive that he was going to get through this, to return to Swansea University, to the bands and orchestras he drummed and played timpani for, to playing basketball, this time for the wheelchair team for Swansea or Exeter.
Sadly, this was not to be. The highly aggressive cancer beat the highly aggressive chemotherapy – because there is still so much to research and learn about Ewing’s Sarcoma, there are still drugs and treatments to be discovered, tried and tested.
While planning the funeral Tim’s mother realised she needed a charity for the collection and so, following a bit of googling, chose The Ewing’s Sarcoma Research Trust, a small charity with no big salaries or expenses set up by Matt Short and his family and friends specifically to support research into treatments for this little-known cancer.
Tim’s closest friend at Swansea University, Richard Cowie who is from Alveston near Bristol, has taken an Erasmus year at Odense University in Denmark and will be returning to Swansea University in the autumn to start his fourth year and to complete his degree.
Richard decided to cycle from Odense to Exeter in memory of Tim and to raise money for The Trust, a mere 900 miles downhill until you get to England. This was entirely Richard’s own idea after he was asked how he was going to get his bike back to the UK. After Tim died he decided upon this trip. He has done it completely solo and with the exception of 3 nights has been camping in a very small tent throughout Europe.
Richard has crossed the channel from Calais to Dover and will arrive at Exeter Cathedral Green on the afternoon of 10th August. If you are in Exeter on 10th August he would love to see you there.
If anyone wants to make a donation in memory of Tim please log on to “Denmark to Devon” https://www.facebook.com/denmarktodevon where you can follow Richard’s progress and find the links for giving.
By helping The Trust campaign it will be help to ensure that in the not too distant future children will survive Ewing’s Sarcoma.
Picture 1 Tim Woollcott
Picture 2 Richard Cowie
- You can read about the work of The Ewing’s Sarcoma Research Trust at ewings-sarcoma.org.uk
- Wednesday 7 August 2013 18.03 BST
- Tuesday 6 August 2013 11.15 BST
- Swansea University, Tel: 01792 295050