Support Debbie Fund and help

find a cure for cervical cancer

Debbie Fund is set up in memory of Debbie Phillips, who died of Cervical Cancer aged 48 on 11th February 2010. During the progression of Debbie’s disease, her family and friends discovered that worldwide there was no dedicated research into a drug treatment specifically for Cervical Cancer. Debbie Fund was set up to raise sufficient funds to carry out this essential research and, due to the amazing efforts of Debbie Fund's supporters, a dedicated research programme is already under way at University College London. Please, follow the Links and find out more about Debbie Fund.Become a supporter and help fund our research. Help prevent other women, wives and mothers, like Debbie, and their families from falling victim to Cervical Cancer.

Debbie was born on 22nd October 1961. After a brilliant school career (Head Girl at Sheffield Girls’ High School), she went to Bristol University, and in 1983 she was awarded a First Class degree in Law (with, reputedly, the highest mark ever recorded). At University she met her husband, Mark, and in 1984 they married. Debbie qualified as a solicitor and spent 6 years at the City law firm, Freshfields, where she excelled.

In 1990, her eldest daughter Katy was born. Debbie chose to stop working and became a full time mother. In 1993, Sarah was born and in 1996, Jack. Debbie devoted herself fully to the care of her children. She was active on many class and parents’ committees, helped out in the library and the school shop. Debbie was the mother who always had time to listen and help; she was warm, kind and generous and loved by everyone who met her. Katy was at Oxford University,  and Sarah and Jack were still at school when they lost their mother. 

Debbie had regular cervical smear tests. Between 1990 and 2005 these were reported as negative. Tragically these smears were misread [see links below] and when, by 2006, the cancer was finally identified, it had spread beyond her cervix and into her ovaries and lymph system. Surgery and intensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy failed to cure the cancer. By 2008, the cancer had spread to Debbie’s brain and following a brain haemorrhage she fell into a coma. The tumor in Debbie's brain hospitalised her for weeks and, despite more extensive treatments, left her blind. Debbie battled on with extraordinary grace and courage for another 14 months and two further courses of chemotherapy. She refused to give in but, on 11th February 2010, following her long and brave battle with cervical cancer, Debbie died.


Read more about Debbie's story: Daily Mail 10.11.2010    

Watch TV news reports about Debbie's story:Channel 4 News 10.11.2010   

Read Channel 4 News report: Channel 4 Katie Razzall



The need for this research

Worldwide, cervical cancer is the second most common female cancer with around half a million new cases per year and a quarter of a million deaths. In the UK there are around 3000 new cases per year of which half are women under the age of 50. The five year survival rate is around 64% reflecting the poor outcome using currently available therapies.

In 2008, when we realised that Debbie was not going to survive by standard treatments, we discovered that there was no dedicated drug development research programme specifically into the treatment of cervical cancer anywhere in the world. We want to change that. When asked recently what she hoped our fund raising would achieve, Debbie’s 16 year old daughter Sarah summed it up perfectly when she said:
“I hope that one day a lady will come up to me and tell me that she had cervical cancer, but because of a drug that came out of our research, she survived.”