Award-winning businessman reaches fundraising milestone for Cancer Research at Newcastle University

Nixon Hire boss set charity goal after the tragic death of his wife

Chris Nixon and the Bellagio Ball committee from left Joanne Evans, Rabir Rai, Rose Abraham, Helen Scandle, are shown around the Paul O'Gorman Building by Professor Herbie Newell to see how the funding they have raised is put to use in cancer research
Chris Nixon and the Bellagio Ball committee from left Joanne Evans, Rabir Rai, Rose Abraham, Helen Scandle, are shown around the Paul O'Gorman Building by Professor Herbie Newell to see how the funding they have raised is put to use in cancer research

The family of an award-winning businessman has reached a massive milestone in a fundraising effort inspired by personal tragedy.

Chris Nixon, whose Nixon Hire was this year’s Journal Business of the Year, began raising money for cancer research after his wife Sarah died just months after the birth of their daughter Poppy.

Mr Nixon’s close network of relatives and friends came together to raise cash for Cancer Research UK and have so far collected about £110,000 in Sarah’s name. Some £65,000 of that total was generated by February’s glittering Bellagio Ball at the Hilton hotel on Gateshead Quayside.

Now Mr Nixon and some of his fundraisers have been given a tour of the Northern Institute for Cancer Research at Newcastle University to see where their cash is going.

Herbie Newell, professor of cancer therapeutics at the centre, told his guests: “I appreciate that what we are doing here sadly does not make losing Sarah any easier.

“But I hope it gives you hope and confidence that we are getting there and we can beat this disease. The research we are carrying out in Newcastle could not happen without what you have done.

“Our work often starts with fantastic events like your ball, which follow tragic situations, and we feel privileged to have been supported in this way.”

Mr Nixon and the team were presented with a special commendation award by Cancer Research UK for their donations.

The 42-year-old said: “There is a real sense of achievement today. These tragic events have created a fundraising committee and I am very proud of what everybody has achieved in memory of Sarah. The visit has given me a much better understanding of how complex this research is.”

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer