After 13 years as Chair of Ovarian Cancer Action, Allyson Kaye MBE has announced her decision to step down. We are delighted that Allyson will continue her close connection with the charity in her new role of President, acting as an advisor and ambassador. Our current Vice-Chair, Dr Wayne Phillips has been appointed in her stead and Allyson will work closely with Wayne and the board as they embark on an exciting new chapter for the charity.
Allyson founded Ovarian Cancer Action in 2005 and we are so grateful for her passionate commitment to saving women's lives, which has seen the charity go from strength to strength. To date, we have invested almost £9 million in research and the Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre at Imperial College London, led by Professor Iain McNeish, is now home to 60 scientists working on projects ranging from early detection to better treatments and preventing recurrence. We also curate an international think tank every four years, bringing together the very best minds in the field, and fund research by Professor Ahmed Ahmed at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine at Oxford University, which we hope will result in the world’s first ovarian cancer screening tool. It is a very exciting time for the charity as we are about to embark on a new programme of research.
Alongside our research we have campaigned tirelessly to push ovarian cancer further up the political agenda, to increase access to genetic testing for those at highest risk, to ensure all affected have access to quality information and to train healthcare professionals so cases can be diagnosed sooner.
Allyson says, “I founded Ovarian Cancer Action in 2005 to speak out about the disease on behalf of all women and to stop it being labelled as a ‘silent killer’. There were no clinical guidelines for identifying symptoms at the time and it was an overlooked and underfunded area of research. I lost my own mother to ovarian cancer when I was just 23 and the lack of openness fuelled my desire to make a change.
During my time as Chair I have been impressed by the passion and dedication of everyone who makes Ovarian Cancer Action’s work possible, from the scientists, board, patrons and staff, to our incredible supporters who are right at the heart of everything we do.
I am delighted that Wayne has been appointed as Chair for the charity’s next important phase of growth. Formerly chairman of the British Association of Pharmaceutical Physicians, Wayne has been an integral part of the board since 2016 and is a qualified physician with 30 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry. I am confident that under his guidance the charity will continue to flourish and I'm sure you will join me in welcoming him to his new role, which will commence later this month."
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our supporters and the immeasurable contribution they continue to make to the lives of so many people affected by ovarian cancer. I started out with a simple yet ambitious mission to save women’s lives and I could not have taken such great strides forwards alone. It is thanks to our supporters that we have been able to get closer to a future where no woman dies of ovarian cancer and for that I am truly grateful. Thank you for joining our fight."