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Christopher’s Smile 

Christopher’s Smile was set up in 2008 by Kevin and Karen Capel a few months after the loss of their little boy to medulloblastoma, a type of brain tumour. Kevin and Karen’s incredible efforts, in Christopher’s memory, are improving the outlook for children with cancer.

Kevin, Christopher and Karen Capel

Christopher’s Smile has raised more than £1 million for childhood cancer research, including funding for four of our full-time research scientists. Their generosity has been instrumental in helping our scientists to develop a new genetic test for children with cancer.

Clinicians will be able to use this test to analyse 81 cancer genes in children’s tumours. This will help them to understand the specific mutations driving their young patient’s cancers and choose the best possible treatment regimens for them.

Kevin and Karen explain: "When our son died there was no biological information available to clinicians about individual children’s tumours. The test is a first for children. Our aim is that it will change the landscape for children and open doors to potential new treatments, benefiting those children who receive the worst prognosis."

Campaigning for better access to cancer drugs

Kevin and Karen are also highly active in campaigning for children to have better access to cancer drugs. They are doing this by talking to the pharmaceutical industry and governing bodies such as the European Medicines Agency.

Kevin and Karen are determined to improve things further for children with cancer:

"Our vision is for every child diagnosed with childhood cancer not only to survive, but to reach adulthood enjoying a good quality of life. We are proud of our achievements so far, particularly working alongside the ICR to develop safer treatment options for children, but we want to make an even bigger difference."

If you would like to get involved and support our childhood cancer research, please contact Nicola Shaw in the Development Team, call 020 8722 4227 or email

Email Nicola

Watch Nicola's video and learn more about her work with our Family Charity Partners.

You can follow the ICR on Twitter for regular updates on our work.