East Anglia Support Group Welcome to the home page of the East Anglia Patient Group, based in Cambridge. We are a very active group in normal times. Raising awareness is the primary focus, we look for events and locations at which there will be a large number of people, attracting as broad a range of people as possible. The locations/venues we've attended include large supermarkets in Downham Market and Cambridge, Garden Centres, Addenbrookes Hospital Concourse, Mill Road (a Street Festival in the centre of Cambridge), The Big Weekend in Cambridge, Science festivals in both Norwich and Cambridge. This year we had plans to be present at The Truck Festival in Peterborough and the River Festival in addition to our regulars such as a supermarket, Mill Road (which might still happen) etc. We also help with an annual patient event which has been running for years. We are a lively group, committed to helping the clinical team in any way that's appropriate. The team are brilliant at supporting us, you will often find members at our events. Our overriding thoughts are that if we encourage just one person a year to seek advice about the heartburn they are suffering that's our job well done. If you would like to know more about us please contact the charity directly on [email protected] or Group Chairman Alastair Reid on [email protected] Events - Past & Future Please note that due to the Covid-19 pandemic our planned schedule of events for 2020 has changed considerably. However, our representatives can still be contacted and will be happy to answer any questions as usual. Watch this space for news on future events. Mill Road Winter Fair, Cambridge - 7th December 2019 Fine weather brought out the crowds and we had a busy day chatting to visitors and providing leaflets and information. Although officially retired from the local committee, Dorothy and Nandor couldn’t resist visiting the stand and were soon handing out leaflets alongside several willing volunteers from the Addenbrooke’s team. Thank you to everyone who gave up their time to help us highlight the link between heartburn and cancer. Norwich Science Festival – 20th October 2019 East Anglia HCUK Committee members ran a stand at the Norwich Science Festival. This was a new venue and we were kept busy all day by a constant stream of visitors. Knowing lots of children would attend the festival, we devised a simple fishing game based on the Cytosponge technique. This proved very popular and while the children diagnosed which of our ‘patients’ had Barrett’s oesophagus we were able to talk to their parents about the link between heartburn and cancer. Annual Event at Westminster College – 20th September 2019 Annual Event at Westminster College – Interactive Exhibits on Barrett’s and Cancer of the Oesophagus. The event was hosted by Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald and was very well attended this year. The families and friends of patients with Barrett’s oesophagus, together with students and interested members of the public, were able to view some of the recent developments in diagnosis and treatment of the disease. There was ample opportunity to talk to members of the clinical and research teams working in this area and to quiz them about the techniques and equipment on display. These included the Cytosponge as a tool for sample collection, a hands-on opportunity to try a laboratory assay used to identify Barrett’s cells and demonstrations of the use of Artificial Intelligence and Informatics in diagnosis. Also, on display was equipment used in endoscopic treatments such as Radiofrequency Ablation to remove precancerous cells from the oesophagus and, new this year, a Breathalyser being developed to detect various types of cancer, including oesophageal cancer, by analysing breath samples. All the displays generated a great deal of interest and we are grateful to everyone who gave up their time to make the event to successful. In particular we would like to thank Owlstone Medical and Medtronic for their sponsorship and demonstrating their technology! The Big Weekend Event - 7th July 2019 HCUK East Anglia had a stand at The Big Weekend held on Parker’s Piece in Cambridge on Sunday July 7th. This Festival of music, dance and food allowed us to meet a wide cross-section of the public, many of whom seemed pleased to escape to the relative peace of the Charities Marquee. It was noticeable that several of the people we talked to took leaflets and literature not for themselves but because they had concerns for older relatives. Numbers visiting rose as participants in the morning’s Race for Life joined the crowd bringing a great deal of shocking pink to the scent. The Mayor of Cambridge (Gerry Bird) showed great interest in our stand and took some leaflets to share with colleagues and friends. Dorothy and Nandor Dobrovicz Retire We would like to thank Dorothy and Nandor Dobrovicz for their years of contribution and hard work in spreading awareness to the public on Heartburn and Cancer Awareness. They have both been an inspiration and they will be truly missed. They have been committee members since the HCUK East Anglia group started over 15 years ago and Dorothy has been the Treasurer for quite a significant part of that time. Hence at the age of 80+ have decided to retire from the committee but will keep in touch and happy to help on up and coming events. Congratulations to you both. HCUK East Anglia Event March 2019 Cambridge organized a very successful Science Day on Saturday thanks to Irene Debiram and the MRC Team. There were some imaginative displays illustrating their research projects particularly the Cytosponge with images of cells picked up by Cytosponge with AI (Artificial Intelligence). There was also a good turn out of committee members available to talk to members of the public.