SIOP Lifetime Achievement Awards for two World Child Cancer trustees

World Child Cancer trustees Professor Tim Eden and Rachel Hollis have both been recognised with Lifetime Achievement Awards by the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP).

The awards were presented on 15th October at SIOP’s 52nd Annual Congress, which this year was held virtually, with over 3,000 participants joining from 127 countries around the world.

Jon Rosser, CEO of World Child Cancer, said,

“As one of the founders of World Child Cancer Tim has been a towering figure in the success we have had in reaching many thousands of marginalised and vulnerable children. He has been an inspiration and mentor to me personally in my time at World Child Cancer and this award is so well deserved. In his retirement he continues to work tirelessly to support children. Rachel Hollis is also a leading figure who has done much to develop and promote the role of nursing in treating children with cancer.
Rachel continues to make a huge contribution to the development of better care for children in poorer countries and her award too is very well deserved.”

Rachel Hollis

Rachel Hollis has been honoured with the SIOP Nursing Lifetime Achievement Award.

Rachel is the Honorary Nurse Adviser Children’s Cancer in the Children’s Hospital at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust. She has more than thirty years working in paediatric oncology and haematology in Leeds, and has been involved in developing services for children and young people with cancer at the local and national level.

A long-standing trustee of World Child Cancer, Rachel is a passionate advocate for nurses and the fundamental role they play in cancer care for children. In the past year she has helped establish a new paediatric oncology nursing course in Ghana; a first for the country. The project was funded by UBS and Rachel was instrumental in the development and implementation of the curriculum. The course started last week for eighteen nurses and is set to make a huge impact in improving standards of care for children with cancer.

Rachel also leads the SIOP Africa Sub-Saharan Nursing Network which is developing standardised training packages for nurses working in paediatric oncology across Sub-Saharan Africa; a programme also funded by UBS. She continues to collaborate with international nursing colleagues as part of the Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer and through her engagement in the work of World Child Cancer.

Professor Tim Eden

Edinburgh-based cancer specialist Professor Tim Eden has been awarded the SIOP Lifetime Achievement award.

The award is granted to individuals from the paediatric oncology community who are renowned for their dedication and scientific excellence in children’s cancer care.

Throughout Professor Eden’s early career, advances in childhood cancer care saw the expectation of survival for children with cancer in high-income countries increase from under 20% to 80%. Those treating childhood cancer began to work closely together and share their learnings, forming SIOP in 1969.

In 1978 Professor Eden Joined SIOP and met doctors trying to treat children with cancer in low-income countries, where a lack of resources meant survival rates were under 10%. In such countries, most children were never diagnosed, misdiagnosed or diagnosed too late to be cured. Others who were diagnosed would frequently abandon treatment, as their families were unable to afford the cost of care and transport to the hospital. Professor Eden and other members of SIOP felt that children everywhere should benefit from what they had learned through improving survival rates in the UK and other high-income countries. In 2007 Professor Eden was instrumental in helping to set up World Child Cancer.

As a past president of SIOP and a leading figure in the paediatric oncology community he used his influence to recruit 11 hospitals and over 60 healthcare professionals from high income countries to create twinning partnerships and volunteer their time to travel abroad and deliver training.

“Tim’s tireless support of the children’s cancer twinning initiative has undoubtedly helped many children to achieve better healthcare and has also saved many lives, not only in Ghana but in all the other countries involved with twinning.” Dr Emma Johnson, paediatric oncologist at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children and current twinning lead.

Professor Eden continues as a Medical Advisor to the Teenage Cancer Trust in Scotland and is active on several committees in the UK.