University goes extra mile to raise vital funds to bring revolutionary medical imaging to Sheffield

5th July 2017

Students, staff, and friends of the University of Sheffield will be stepping up to walk 50 miles in 24 hours later this week (Friday 30 June-Saturday 1 July 2017) to raise vital funds for the Sheffield Scanner appeal.

More than 280 people will take part in the challenge which aims to raise a total of £100,000 to help bring the first MRI-PET scanner to the region. The scanner, which is one of only eight in the UK, will transform research into a number of devastating diseases including Alzheimer's, cancer, heart and lung disease, Parkinson's, stroke and Motor Neurone Disease (MND). The determined walkers will set off on the 50 mile circular-route from The Octagon at the University of Sheffield on Clarkson Road at 7am on Friday. They will take in the stunning scenery of the Peak District, including Bakewell, the Chatsworth Estate, Froggatt and Curbar Edge before returning to campus. James Merrylees, External Relations Manager from the University of Sheffield, is taking part in The Big Walk. -It is quite daunting to think we will be walking for 24 hours and covering a mammoth 50 miles, said James. -This is the biggest challenge I've ever taken on. I've been on a few training walks and have battled with the usual blisters and a knee injury but I am determined to cross the finish line in order to help raise as much money for the appeal as possible. -The scanner will have a life-changing impact on thousands of people across the region by helping to accelerate pioneering research into a number of devastating diseases. The University of Sheffield launched the Sheffield Scanner appeal in March 2017. The revolutionary MRI-PET scanner combines the simultaneous power of whole body Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) in a single image, providing the most detailed information about the organs, tissues and structures in the body and how well they are functioning. The superior images will enhance researchers' knowledge about diseases and allow them to identify faster and better ways to detect, treat and prevent them. This will accelerate discoveries from the laboratory into clinical trials to develop new therapies and better outcomes for patients. University of Sheffield Community Fundraising Lead, Dave Meadows, said: -The enthusiasm of University staff, students, alumni and members of the public for the Sheffield Scanner appeal has been amazing. -Since March 2017 we have raised more than £700,000. We're hoping that this year's Big Walk will take us closer to our target of £2 million to bring the future of medical imaging to South Yorkshire. The Big Walk 2017 is just one of the ways staff, students, alumni and members of the public are helping to raise the funds needed to reach the £2 million target. Staff, students and alumni have taken part in a variety of events including cake sales, quizzes, and even a 24 mile swim. Professor Dame Pamela Shaw, Vice-President and Head of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health at the University of Sheffield and Founding Director of the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN), said: -The chances are your life, or that of someone close to you, has been affected by medical research. -With this innovative imaging technology, our ambition is to develop new knowledge and treatments for patients more rapidly. -The University of Sheffield is an outstanding centre for health research and is committed to finding new solutions to the significant health challenges facing us today. We have won worldwide acclaim for our work so far but to achieve even more, we need your help. For more information about the Big Walk and the Sheffield Scanner appeal or to donate please visit:

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