Cancer researcher’s friends scale heights to raise £5,500

The Mead School in Tunbridge Wells gave a professional level performance in the  ISA drama contests

A TEAM of eight climbers took on the National Three Peaks Challenge in memory of their friend James Morden, a talented young cancer researcher from Tunbridge Wells, raising more than £5,500 to fight the disease.

The endurance feat involves climbing over 23 miles in three countries inside 24 hours with a total ascent of over 10,000 feet.

The group started on Ben Nevis in Scotland on June 8, followed by Scafell Pike in Cumbria. They were joined by 10 more climbers including James’s sister for Snowdon in Wales.

They were raising money for The Institute of Cancer Research [ICR] in London, a charity where James was a senior medical statistician in the Clinical Trials and Statistics Unit.

James, who attended Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys, died aged 31 when he was hit by a car while on a camping trip near Ringmer in East Sussex last September.

In his name the ICR has proposed a yearly Career Development Award, which would enable early career statisticians and clinical trials management staff to have extra training in new research methods.

The ICR has been carrying out pioneering research into cancer for more than 100 years and is a world leader at discovering new targeted cancer drugs, identifying cancer genes and developing new high-precision forms of radiotherapy.

Its Clinical Trials and Statistics Unit runs clinical trials of new advances in cancer research, so patients can benefit as quickly as possible.

Peter McNulty, who took part in the challenge, said: ‘James was genuinely one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. Everyone liked him, and we all miss him dearly.’

He added: ‘We wanted to do this because we think James would have been up for it, and we want to do things to remember him by and also raise money for a good cause and work that he cared about.’

Professor Judith Bliss, Director of the ICR Clinical Trials and Statistics Unit, said: ‘James was a truly valued colleague at the ICR – sharing his passion for science and working to improve outcomes for patients via the clinical trials on which he worked.’

‘He was always keen to improve his experience and skills, including learning new methods. So the Career Development Award in James’s name will be a fitting and lasting tribute.’

To make a donation to Three Peaks for James, visit

PICTURE: PEAK OF THEIR POWERS: The reinforced team reach the top of Snowden

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