Who we are
Christopher’s Smile was set up in October 2008 after Karen and Kevin Capel lost their son Christopher in June the same year to an aggressive medulloblastoma brain tumour. Following a 21 month battle with the disease he passed away 9 days before his 6th birthday. The Capels wanted to find something positive in their tragedy and thought long and hard about the direction they should take.
Christopher's mum and dad feel strongly that new treatments are urgently needed for the 20% of children who do not survive their disease along with those children who survive but face a lifetime of post treatment issues.
Christopher’s Smile does not have a specific paediatric tumour focus but instead provides funding for projects that will benefit the largest number of children possible across the childhood cancer community. The charity has awarded 6 project grants and raised over 1.2 million pounds.
The current research funding focus of Christopher’s Smile is the development of tumour DNA sequencing for the analysis of tissue and fluid samples.
The lack of innovative targeted drugs for paediatric trials is of particular concern to the Capels. They are actively campaigning for change on a European platform and they have addressed the European Commission and MEPs in Brussels with the overall aim to improve the outcome for children with cancer.
Karen and Kevin firmly believe that charities should be voluntary organisations and not giant corporations. They pay no wages, control costs and when expenditure is unavoidable this is covered by either specific grants or paid for by the Trustees. Their belief is that every penny of a donation should be used for the cause for which it was given. They ensure that donors are kept fully informed of how their donations have been spent and the benefits delivered.
"Our vision is for every child diagnosed with childhood cancer to not only survive, but to reach adulthood enjoying a good quality of life."