David & Bee Flavell

First published in Hampshire Heritage

Dr David Flavell and his wife, Dr Bee Flavell, lost their son to leukaemia in 1990 - the very disease they studied in their working lives as experimental immunologists.

Since then they have built up the children's research charity Leukaemia Busters to support national clinical trials for the treatment of children with incurable forms of leukaemia using new anti-body based drugs.

At their son's request the couple carried on their pioneering work after his death in the hope other children and their families can be saved from the heartbreaking disease.

Along with their co-founders and, later, a board of committed trustees, the Flavells launched a very public campaign against the form of leukaemia that clamed their son's life.

Two years after Simon's death and following a year-long campaign by the Daily Echo to raise funds for Leukaemia Busters, the Simon Flavell Leukaemia Research Laboratory finally opened at Southampton General Hospital and the Flavells' quest to banish childhood leukaemia began in earnest.

Today the charity's admirable work in the field of medical research continues and the distinctive Leukaemia Busters logo - designed by little Simon in 1989 - represents hope for thousands of sufferers and their families that the disease will one day be eradicated.

Since Simon's laboratory opened, a huge amount of work has been carried out there. Scores of scientists, doctors, students and technicians, all with the common aim of developing new treatments, have passed through its doors.

Thanks to the tireless dedication of the Flavells and the Leukaemia Busters team, three new antibody-based drugs for acute leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma have been developed and tested, leading experts to believe they may eventually have positive benefits for some leukaemia patients in the near future.

Name: Drs David and Bee Flavell Occupation: Medical research scientists local link: Founders of Southampton-based children's charity Leukaemia Busters

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