Chair and founder of GRACE cancer charity, surgeon Simon Butler-Manuel hosted a glamorous evening at the Royal Automobile Club in Epsom in December. Over 100 Guests enjoyed a champagne reception followed by a dinner of pan-seared sesame salmon, medallions of salt marsh lamb and lemongrass crème Brule.

Paul Martin, magician to the royal family, entertained guests with his tricks. Fundraising included a raffle, secret Santa and a lively auction conducted by Epsom racehorse trainer Simon Dow. Guest speaker on the evening: Caroline Dean, spoke movingly about her personal journey with ovarian cancer, highlighting the importance of research into this silent and elusive cancer. She praised the Gynae-oncology team at St. Luke’s cancer centre for providing her with first class treatment and support.

Simon and his team treat and support women with gynaecological cancers from Sussex, North Hampshire and Surrey and thanks to the fundraising through GRACE, they are able to offer the very latest technologies for targeted surgical and radiotherapy based treatments, such as robotic surgery and brachytherapy.

The fundraising totaled £12,000 which will go directly towards funding the recently established tumour bio bank at the University of Surrey. Simon Butler- Manuel believes that “being able to anonymously cross-reference tumour types and their genetic make-up with patient outcomes will enable a host of possible future research in this most difficult field”.