We are proud to announce that Aitchison Raffety’s Charity of the year for 2024 is Jessica’s Arc, a charity that is close to our hearts and was set up in the memory of our own Laura Macqueen’s beautiful daughter Jessica.
Jessica Macqueen was diagnosed with stage 4 Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS) in June 2019. She died in Great Ormond Street hospital in October 2019, just six weeks after her ninth birthday and only 4.5 months from being diagnosed. Jess was a loving, funny, active, healthy eight year old up until her diagnosis.
Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is a rare type of cancer that forms in soft tissue. It most often affects children and accounts for 5% of childhood cancer cases each year in the UK (circa 60 to 70 children each year). Currently the treatments needed to control RMS are so outdated. A child with the same disease 40 years ago would have received the same treatment protocol as Jess. The chemotherapy drugs used were developed in the 1960s, 70s and 80s and there have been very little advancements since due to a lack of funding into research. The chemotherapy used has been designed for adults and is very aggressive for children leading to substantial side effects in the short and longer term. There effectiveness is also not guaranteed.
About Alice’s Arc
These treatments unfortunately were unable to save Jessica and have failed to save many other children that now form the main charity Alice’s Arc. The main Arc network was set up after Jess died and has brought together numerous families whose goal is to find less harsh and more successful treatments.
Jessica’s Arc was one of the first Arcs to be established and to date have raised £130,000 in Jess’ memory. Advancements in the treatment of Rhabdo will impact many other childhood cancers, many of which follow the same treatment protocol and use the same outdated chemotherapy drugs. This is a small charity with very low overheads, no CEOs and no one gets a wage for the work they do. All money goes towards the mission.
How you can support
We will be running a variety of fundraising events throughout 2024 to help raise essential funds for Jessica’s Arc.
Please help us to make a difference and reach our target £5,000! Please donate here: Charity Action Group – Aitchison Raffety is fundraising for Alice’s Arc (justgiving.com)
*All the proceeds will be going to the charity Alice’s Arc, who work with a network of paediatric oncologists and clinicians who focus on finding less harsh treatments for Rhabdomyosarcoma and other childhood cancers.