[ node.tpl : 'full']
The Mary-Jean Mitchell Green Foundation has, over the years, donated a total of £4 million towards Breakthrough Breast Cancer’s research, leading to major advances in the treatment and prevention of the disease.
Mary-Jean was a successful young businesswoman and keen sportswoman and was diagnosed with breast cancer In 1987. She went into remission but an aggressive form of breast cancer came back and she died in 1990, aged just 39, leaving behind her husband, Peter, and two sons, Alexander and Andrew.
Towards the end of her life, Mary-Jean created a Foundation to fund research into a cure for breast cancer in the hope that other families would not have to go through what hers had.
Around the same time, Breakthrough was making plans to build Europe’s only centre dedicated to breast cancer research, at a cost of £15 million. Peter Green was introduced to Breakthrough by Mary-Jean’s doctor and gave an astonishing £1.3 million towards the building that would house the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre. He also gave a generous grant to get the research under way in the meantime. These gifts secured the future of Breakthrough and attracted further key funding from The Dunhill Medical Foundation and Leopold Muller Estate.
In 1999, the Breakthrough Research Centre, housed in the Mary-Jean Mitchell Green Building, was opened. The Mary-Jean Mitchell Green Foundation’s support was already harnessing the knowledge of world-class scientists and producing benefits for patients in record time, at much-reduced costs. The money donated by the foundation has gone a long way to help towards:
- discovering the pivotal role of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes in breast cancer – Breakthrough scientists went on to develop drugs to target these genes and more than 60 clinical trials worldwide are now using these drugs for many types of cancer.
- discovering three new genes linked to breast cancer, described like finding “gold in Trafalgar Square”, and potentially leading to new therapies for cancer patients.
- developing a new test which predicts how likely it is that a woman’s breast cancer will recur after hormone-based treatment. This test, called IHC4, is much cheaper and easier to carry out than alternative tests and may be available on the NHS by 2014.
None of this would have been possible without the support of the Mary-Jean Mitchell Green Foundation and our friends Peter, Alexander and Ika, and Andrew, in recognition of which we were delighted to name Peter as Breakthrough’s Founding Benefactor in 2006.