Solicitor's fund-raising triumph

AN Attleborough solicitor who has raised more than £60,000 for leukaemia research after the death of his eight-year-old daughter is to receive an award.

AN Attleborough solicitor who has raised more than £60,000 for leukaemia research after the death of his eight-year-old daughter is to receive an award.

Colin Wright had little time to prepare for the loss of his daughter Suzie, who died within 11 weeks of being diagnosed in 1993.

But since then he has done his utmost to fund ground-breaking research being done at the University of East Anglia's school of biological sciences, his dearest wish being that one day a total cure for the disease will be found.

To date he has raised more than £60,000 to support the Norwich university's fight against leukaemia, an achievement that will be recognised next Thursday when he is awarded a UEA honorary fellowship.

“Suzie is still very much part of our family. She was ill 10½ weeks, that was all,” said Mr Wright, 53.

“We came back from a family holiday in the August of 1993 and Suzie was diagnosed with leukaemia. She went into hospital at the same time as Herbie Hide's brother, Alan, who died four years later. With Suzie it all happened very quickly.

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“It was the year after Bryan Gunn's daughter Francesca died from leukaemia.

“We raised some money, and it was suggested it be put into the Francesca Gunn laboratory at the UEA, and I met Dr Ian Gibson, the MP, who at that time was dean of the faculty. I talked to him to see if we could do something to raise more funds.

“I have always been involved in charity work. I was secretary of the appeal that raised a lot of money to build a new physiotherapy and occupational therapy unit in 1987 at Wayland Hospital in Attleborough, which was opened by Princess Anne. The health authority decided to close the hospital about 15 years later. And I'm on the management board at the Kilverstone Mobility Centre.”

Mr Wright, a partner in the law firm Greenland Houchen Pomeroy, is also a keen golfer and hit on the idea of raising money for UEA by holding a sponsored golf tournament at Bawburgh Golf Club.

“We raised about £3,500 at the first golf day, and, because it went very well and people enjoyed it, we have continued to do it annually every summer. We have had an average of 100 people each year - I have some very good friends - and last year we raised £6,600,” he said.

Although great strides have been made in the treatment of leukaemia since Suzie was struck down with the disease, and many children do make a complete recovery, there is no known cure.

So Mr Wright (pictured) has no intention of stopping his personal crusade to raise as much money as possible for the research done at UEA.

Of the fellowship, he said: “I am delighted to be receiving such an honour. It would not have been possible to achieve so much without the assistance of my family and friends. I intend to continue to support the university's fight against leukaemia and hope that one day a total cure will be found.”

Prof Dylan Edwards, who leads cancer research at UEA, said: “We are extremely grateful to Colin for all the hard work he has put into raising these significant funds.

“The money has been used to buy essential pieces of equipment that are crucial in our continuing battle against this terrible disease.”