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The John Russell Tribute Fund

You will all know John Russell as an ebullient enjoyer of and participant in life: from his days as a policeman in London, from his caravanning rampages across Europe, perhaps from his immoderate enjoyment of a pint after a football match at Crystal Palace but most certainly from his love of and complete kindness towards his family and friends. But perhaps you know a little bit less about John Russell as an ill man.

For anyone who has watched a friend or loved one struggle with illness, one of the first questions is what can be done? Can it be cured? Is there hope? For cancer patients, these are much more fraught questions and for sufferers of malignant melanoma specifically, usually terrifying ones.

John was first diagnosed six years ago with a malignant melanoma but, with two operations, a careful watch by Professor Dalgleish and his wonderful team at St George’s Hospital, London and an all clear, he continued to enjoy life to the fullest. And so when, without warning, a scan revealed him to be harbouring metastases throughout his body, the blow was terrible. In the course of the four weeks from diagnosis, our family clutched at a sliver of hope that, as before, something could be done about it; we moved on to realising, if not accepting, that it was only a matter of time and determined that our last few months together would be as happy and heartfelt as any that had gone before until finally, at the end of those four weeks, we lost John forever. The speed with which this disease attacked was astonishing. John had barely had time to start the treatment intended to manage his last few months when he died.

So what if? What if you could have more time? Well, this charity is dedicated to valuable research aimed at developing vaccines for cancer that will lengthen and improve the quality of a cancer patient’s life. Professor Dalgleish and his team at St. George’s are solely reliant on voluntary contributions to fund this unique and hopeful research and so we hope that, in memory of our warm, generous, open hearted John, you will contribute something towards the fight against the awful disease that took him away far too soon. Please take a look around this website and the information it provides – you will soon see just what good work they are doing.

We thank you all for your time and help and especially for all the wonderful warm messages we have received from you all.

The Russells

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