Cancer treatment fund in memory of 27-year-old reaches £500,000
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Cancer treatment fund in memory of 27-year-old reaches £500,000

Family and friends remember life of Sam Keen who passed away in 2011, as quiz night at Borehamwood shul raises nearly £10,000

Francine Wolfisz is the Features Editor for Jewish News.

L-R: Ruth Lewis, Ali Keen, Judith Frazer, Sara Kibel and Rebecca Fox
L-R: Ruth Lewis, Ali Keen, Judith Frazer, Sara Kibel and Rebecca Fox

A fund set up in memory of a 27-year-old estate agent, who died of cancer just weeks after his wedding, has now reached £500,000.

The Sam Keen Foundation, set up in 2011 to raise money for medical research, hit the milestone amount following a sell-out quiz night at Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue, on Sunday.

Organised by his sisters Sara Kibel, Rebecca Fox, Judith Frazer, Ruth Lewis, and his widow Ali Keen, the event saw 230 guests raise £9,500 in Sam’s memory, which will go towards funding research into cancer treatment.

Ever since the former Rosh Pinah pupil died of a malignant melanoma in November 2011, the foundation has raised money for three research fellow places at the Royal Marsden Hospital.

Three places have already been funded, to work with Professor Martin Gore, a leading immunotherapy researcher.

Sam Keen

Speaking about the event, Sara said: “Sam brought 230 people together for a magnificent sold-out evening. Everyone in the room felt privileged to fund a research team who are uniquely placed to be able to find a breakthrough.

“The sadness of not being able to share our day-to-day lives with Sam is immeasurable, but support like this from the community ensures he is still with us.”

Sam underwent immunotherapy, as part of his treatment. Research fellow, Dr Andrew Furness, says studies shows immunotherapy is “more intelligent” that other forms of care, such as chemotherapy.

“It’s using your own body’s immune system to fight cancer. It never goes away, it has a memory and it can adapt, so people have been trying to exploit or harness its power for some time.”

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