More than £1 million has been raised towards bringing a potentially life-saving scanner to Sheffield that could help treat thousands of patients suffering from several killer diseases.
The University of Sheffield launched the Sheffield Scanner campaign in March to raise £2 million to bring the first MRI-PET scanner to the region – one of only eight in the UK.
The advanced imaging technology will help researchers tackle some of the most devastating diseases facing society today including motor neurone disease, Parkinson’s and strokes.
City residents have got fully behind the cause and thanks to thousands of individual donations and fundraising challenges, the campaign has now broken through the £1 million barrier - meaning the cause is more than halfway towards its target just nine months after launching.
From generous one-off gifts to sponsored sporting events, quiz nights and bake sales, more than 5500 donors have helped the project reach this major milestone.
Funds raised from the 24-hour Big Walk challenge through the Peak District this summer have alone topped £115, 000. Meanwhile, intrepid supporters have also raised money from ultramarathon running, a 24-hour 24-mile swim and the Yorkshire Three Peaks walk.
Professor Dame Pamela Shaw, vice-president and head of medicine, dentistry and health at the university, said: "It’s thanks to the time and generosity of countless individuals and groups that we’ve passed the £1 million mark.
"I know that many people who are contributing to this appeal have been affected by diseases that this Scanner will in future, help us to treat. They may have been diagnosed themselves or have seen the impact that these illnesses can have on the lives of family or friends.
"I am personally touched that they have chosen to help the campaign – bringing us one step closer to helping so many other patients in future.”
Scientist Martin Brook was part of a team of 20 colleagues from the university who collectively raised over £7, 600 by participating in the Sheffield 10K run in September.
He said: "I've seen the benefits of this technology first hand so I'm excited about the possibilities offered by MRI-PET.”
MRI-PET allows detailed pictures of the body’s bones and tissues to be mapped onto important information about how the body is functioning. It is believed the scanner could lead to earlier intervention and potentially save lives.
It is hoped the scanner will be located at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital.
All donations to the £2 million fundraising campaign will be matched by the University of Sheffield.