1. ITV Report

Essex husband's efforts to fund research after wife dies from rare cancer

Steve lost his wife Sharon to cancer in October 2016 Credit: Family photo

A Chelmsford man is fundraising to pay for the first UK research into a rare form of cancer after his wife died from the disease in October 2016.

Sharon Dunster was diagnosed with Mucosal melanoma, a rare cancer on the glands which produce mucas. She died within a year of being diagnosed.

Sharon Dunster was the 'life and soul' of the party Credit: ITV Anglia

The Sharon Dunster Foundation has been set up by husband Steve in order to try and find answers to the questions that could have saved Sharon's life.

At the moment the condition is so rare that specialists around the world don't know what causes it or how to treat it.

Sharon had been treated for the condition and went through an operation that removed a tumour, but it came back more aggressively.

£90,000 is needed to fund a three year PhD Credit: ITV Anglia

Ever since Sharon's funeral Steve has been raising money in order to fund a young doctor to put three years of research into the disease for her PhD at a total cost of £90,000.

Steve Dunster Credit: ITV News Anglia
The cost of a three-year PhD study into the illness

Medical experts say the money raised for rare cancers like this is vital, as they are not often funded.

"The rarer the cancer, the less funding which means less personnel to be able to research it. The idea is if we can find something novel then we can attract further funding"

– Dr Nelofer Syed - Principal Investigator at the Imperial College London
Sharon Dunster Credit: Family photo

Steve hopes that the money raised will mean others in the future have a better chance of surviving thanks to the research gained from this three year PhD study.