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The Kelly Turner Foundation

The Kelly Turner Foundation aims to raise £1 million for our research into Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumour (DSRCT) – a particularly aggressive type of sarcoma that occurs mostly in adolescent and young people. The foundation was set up by Martin and Linda Turner, in memory of their daughter Kelly who died of DSRCT in 2017, aged 17. Through their remarkable efforts, they have already raised over £600,000 towards our research to improve the outlook for patients with this cancer.

Kelly Turner

DSRCT is difficult to treat and patients have a very poor prognosis. There is currently no targeted therapy for the disease. Few scientists in the world study DSRCT, and progress in understanding its unique biology is behind that of other types of cancer.

Martin and Linda’s hope is that other young people will have a better chance of surviving this disease. 

"We are never going to give up. We told Kelly we never would and we never will. We need to find something that will directly attack the tumour in the case of DSRCT. That was Kelly’s wish. Her wish was that once she was well she would carry on fundraising to bring immunotherapy or other new treatments to the UK.”

Originally Martin and Linda planned to raise $1.2 million to send Kelly to the USA for surgery and immunotherapy after her NHS doctors said the operation was too risky. Unfortunately they then found out that Kelly’s tumours were too big for the operation.

It was Kelly's desire during her last week of life that the money raised should be used to fund research at the ICR, to help discover a targeted treatment for her disease.

Better and kinder treatments for DSRCT

Our aim is to identify new, more targeted treatments for DSRCT.

Kelly’s legacy will have a tremendous impact on our ability to carry out important research into this disease. The support has been vital in helping a team of our researchers, whose focus is specifically on sarcoma in young people. They are the Sarcoma Molecular Pathology Team, led by Professor Janet Shipley – a world expert in molecular biology of sarcomas. She has argued that although cases of DSRCT are rare, the number of years of life that could be saved by new and better treatments makes the study of this cancer more important than is often recognised.

Professor Shipley’s team wants to change delivery of cancer care for children and teenagers with DSRCT by gaining greater understanding of its genetic changes and by developing treatments with fewer side-effects.

Thanks to the incredibly generous support from the Kelly Turner Foundation, we now anticipate making significant progress towards developing effective treatments for DSRCT. The foundation’s donations will allow us to build on the research we had already carried out, on a scale not possible before.

We are honoured that Kelly’s wish was for us to receive this funding. The funds, raised in her lifetime, will now help others with her condition.

Meet the ICR’s team supported by Kelly Turner Foundation:

Sarcoma Molecular Pathology Team

Research overview

 The Kelly Turner Foundation logo

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.