24/02/16

Loose Change Supports Lynch Syndrome UK Charity

A charity
which supports families affected by the same genetic disease which claimed the
life of late fundraiser Stephen Sutton has received a welcome boost thanks to a
Shropshire-based IT firm. Staff at
Network Support Solutions (NSS) based at Shrewsbury Business Park began
collecting their loose change 12 months ago in support of Lynch Syndrome UK
(LSUK). Lynch
Syndrome is an inherited condition which increases the risk of developing colon
cancer and other associated cancers.

Katy Jones
and Paul Coulthard-Jones, joint managing directors of NSS, became aware of the
disorder several years ago when close friend and former colleague Simon
Reynolds was diagnosed with the condition. Mr Reynolds,
from Newport, first discovered he had colon cancer 14 years ago when he was
just 34-years-old.He underwent
an operation to remove the tumour and with the help of radiotherapy treatment
made a full recovery. However,
several years later he went on to suffer other kinds of cancer and underwent
further operations to remove his prostate, bladder and tumours from his pelvic
area. In 2014 his
condition was deemed terminal by doctors and his health deteriorated
significantly in June 2015. In January, just two days before his 48th birthday,
he sadly died. His death
has left a huge hole in his family’s life but wife, Lisa, and sister Helen
Bufton, who has also been diagnosed with Lynch Syndrome, are now more
determined than ever to raise awareness of the condition through the charity.

They
recently visited staff at NSS to receive the £200 donation from the team. Ms Jones
said: “We have been collecting loose change for about 12 months and whenever
anyone has asked us to make a donation or sponsor them for an event we have
instead put the money in our pot. “Simon was
such a good friend to both myself and Paul. We will miss him a great deal. This
donation from the company is the least we can do to support his family and
others who have the condition and we hope it will go some way to raising
greater awareness.

Mrs Reynolds
said: “Simon was a brave, selfless, caring and loving husband and father to his
four children. “He never
once made a fuss and took everything in his stride. He was
knocked back so many times but just picked himself back up and got on with
things. He spent
more time caring and worrying about everyone else than he did himself. We are so
grateful to all the staff at Network Support Solutions for this wonderful
donation. First and
foremost Katy and Paul were great friends to Simon and myself but this money
will give us the opportunity to raise greater awareness of Lynch Syndrome which
is tremendous. Simon was
only diagnosed with Lynch Syndrome in 2012 by which time the cancer had really
taken a hold of his body. Had he known sooner, things could have been
different.”

Mrs Bufton,
from Trench, whose mother Linda Reynolds, daughter Chantelle and sister Jennie
Gibson also has Lynch Syndrome, added: “It’s this awareness we are seeking to
improve through the charity. Our aim is
to spread awareness of the condition among GP’s, medical professionals and the
general public. Experts
believe around 1 in 350 people in the UK are unaware they have it and it’s our
mission to make them aware and save lives. We want
everyone under 70 to be screened for the genetic disorder after all screening
will save lives.In my eyes
Simon gave up his life for us. Without his diagnosis we wouldn’t have known our
family have Lynch Syndrome. My son will be screened in a couple of years time
when he is older and there is a 50:50 chance he will have it.”

All funds
donated and raised by the charity are used to produce information leaflets on
the condition, about different cancers and to promote patient days in regional
genetic clinics. If you have
a family history of related cancers, particularly colon or womb, or have a
family member diagnosed with cancer at a younger age, then you may have a
genetic condition such as Lynch Syndrome. On May 7
this year the charity, of which Mrs Bufton is a trustee, will host a conference
in Bristol.

For more
information on the charity visit the website www.lynch-syndrome-uk.org.