I have chosen 4 charities which are dear to me. They are all UK-based but of course their research is shared around the world among the medical community who change and save lives everywhere. Any profits I make from the book will be divided between the 4.
Why? Because septicaemia almost killed one of our twins, William, when he was 2. For 7 days, we thought we’d lost him. Somehow he survived. We have never forgotten that traumatic week or the people at Southampton Hospital who saved his life. Sepsis (also known as blood poisoning) is the immune system’s overreaction to an infection or injury. Normally our immune system fights infection – but sometimes, for reasons we don’t yet understand, it attacks our body’s own organs and tissues. If not treated immediately, sepsis can result in organ failure and death. Yet with early diagnosis, it can be treated with antibiotics. It is estimated that sepsis affect more than 30 million people worldwide every year, potentially leading to 6 million deaths. It is estimated that 3 million newborns and 1.2 million children suffer from sepsis globally every year.
Why? Because Dad died of a heart attack when he was 34. The BHF vision is a world without heart and circulatory diseases. They raise money to research cures and treatments so we can beat heartbreak forever. They fund research into all heart and circulatory diseases and the things that cause them: heart diseases, stroke, vascular dementia, diabetes. They're all connected.
Why? Because my father-in-law died of bowel cancer when he was 40. Since 40tude was founded by my brother-in-law Gordon in September 2011, we have raised close to £1.2 million to help cure colon cancer. St Mark's Hospital is a world leading centre for research and treatment of bowel disorders and 40tude is helping to fund pioneering research projects which are targeted at the early diagnosis and treatment of colon cancer. If you like cycling or paddle boarding or walking or climbing, come and join us on one of our events in the UK or abroad.
Why? Because my mate Michael Lynagh, the former Australian fly half, suffered a stroke in 2012. It is estimated that there are 4.5 million deaths a year from stroke in the world and over 9 million stroke survivors.