Family of cancer man raise £2m for centre

A multi-million pound cancer diagnosis centre has been opened at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Chelsea in memory of music industry executive and cancer victim Raz Gold.

Mr Gold, who held senior posts at EMI and Warner, died in 2005 at the age of 39. Since then relatives including former Spurs vice-chairman Paul Kemsley have raised £3 million for the Raz Gold Foundation, of which £2 million has been put towards a rapid diagnostic and assessment centre at the Royal Marsden.

It has state-of-the-art equipment which allows the speedy examination of tissue samples. Its establishment means that people referred by a GP with breast abnormalities, prostate problems or with a family history of cancer need no longer be seen in outpatient clinics.

“Raz started fundraising when he was dying,” explained his Shenley-based father, Clive. “We have also used the money to pay off a £400,000 overdraft at the Watford Peace Hospice — which cared for him — and given some to Chai Cancer Care.”

More than £1 million alone was raised from a star-studded dinner at the Dorchester attended by 400 guests including then Spurs manager Martin Jol, Lord Sugar and Craig David.

The Royal Marsden facility “is an incredible centre,” Mr Gold said. “The government has put in millions of pounds of machinery. I said to the doctor in charge that if they saved one person’s life, Raz would have been so pleased. He told me they have 50 patients a day and had already saved many lives. People are in a terrible state when they go there. But it is a very calm place with such nice staff, so it’s very relaxing.”

Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Cally Palmer said: “The centre is dedicated to patients awaiting diagnoses, providing a welcoming environment away from the main hospital. When cancer is diagnosed, treatment can start earlier.”

    Last updated: 4:45pm, August 20 2009