Scottish football stars

On Sunday 8th March 2020, Scottish sports personalities united under one roof at the Doubletree Hilton, Glasgow and helped to raise over £112,000 for vital research funding on behalf of DEBRA UK.

Hosted by Graeme Souness, sporting broadcaster Chick Young and DEBRA’s President, Falklands veteran Simon Weston CBE, this event saw over 500 guests from Scotland’s business and sporting community come together to raise funds for two urgently needed research projects for people living with EB.

Graeme Souness on stage

Led by Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute and the University of Glasgow, the first project is set to investigate  Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) an aggressive form of skin cancer which affects children and adults living with a form of EB known as recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB).

Graeme Souness, Vice President of DEBRA comments:

Living a life in constant pain with continuous blistering and disfiguration is unimaginable. Yet this is experienced by the EB community every hour of every day.

I am confident everyone will dig deep tonight so we can raise the funds for this vital research which could significantly improve the living conditions and ultimately increase the life expectancy of young people living with EB. Thank you to everyone who has given up their time tonight. Together we will fight EB.

Scottish football stars audience

Professor Gareth Inman

Professor Gareth Inman at the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute and the Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Glasgow comments:

This research is vital in helping to identify new ways of slowing down the growth of skin cancer cells for people with RDEB and will provide a significant opportunity for future drug and therapeutic development. So far we have stopped growth in over 50 per cent of RDEB patient skin cancer cells in the lab. Now we need to find out how we can improve and exploit these findings for patient benefit. My team and I are really eager to get started.

The second research project is taking place in Kings College London and could lead to the development of a spray-on gene therapy for RDEB patients which could eliminate the need for invasive procedures, prevent scarring and improve the clinical feasibility of gene therapy.