On Friday 5 November 2021, OPI will once again join about 100 UK industry peers to climb some of the toughest mountains in the UK’s Lake District. The reason? To raise funds for – and awareness of – the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) as part of the long-running Climb of Life (COL) initiative.
It’s a sad reality that COVID-19 has done little to make cancer go away. There’s a considerable backlog in diagnosed cancer sufferers, meaning that many people will now have lower chances of survival as a direct result of the delays caused by the pandemic.
ICR scientists contributing to a recent survey said that their own research advances have been pushed back by an average of six months by the initial lockdown, with subsequent restrictions on laboratory capacity and the closure of national scientific facilities. Overall, survey respondents estimated that major advances in cancer research would be delayed by approximately 17 months.
With these stark realities in mind, COL 2021 marks the welcome in-person return of this difficult physical challenge after last year’s virtual efforts – another coronavirus by-product.
With a theme of Get There By Getting Out There, OPI, along with many other intrepid climbers from organisations including EVO Group, Hamelin, Avery, 3M, Exaclair, Office Power, Commercial, COLOP and BOSS, is hoping to give much needed financial support to the ICR which, in partnership with The Royal Marsden hospital, forms the largest comprehensive cancer centre in Europe.
It’s set to be a tough challenge, with high winds, storms and often snow the order of the day. But, as Philip Lawson, former BOSS CEO who took over as organiser from industry legend and COL inventor Graeme Chapman MBE in 2019, said: “The urge to ‘get there by getting out there’ has never been more apparent.”
OPI CEO Steve Hilleard added: “OPI has been a proud supporter of the ICR as part of COL for the past 12 years. Sadly, during that period, two of our company’s youngest recruits lost their courageous battles with cancer. This year, with these colleagues as well as many family members and friends very much in mind, the COL group is aiming to break through the £100,000 ($140,000) fundraising barrier once again, bringing the total monies raised for the ICR to well over £1 million.”