I KNOW from personal experience how heartbreaking cancer is.

It has affected many of my close family members, which I know will sadly be a familiar situation for too many families in Surrey.

I have written here before about my campaign for a new Cancer and Surgical Innovation Centre at the Royal Surrey. It will treat 7,000 more patients every year with six new operating theatres, and it will make a huge difference to local cancer care, not least by reducing waiting lists.

This is essential if we want to continue to improve survival rates. The Royal Surrey is the fourth (nearing the third) largest cancer centre in the country, supporting three million people across the South East, so the new facilities will make a huge difference to many.

It is therefore great news that work started on the new centre at the start of the month – no better way to mark World Cancer Day which was on Sunday 4th February. The £41.5million development is expected to be completed in late 2025.

However, we are still fundraising to ensure that it can get the best possible equipment. Through a series of local events – from a fundraising concert to a local bike ride – hundreds of thousands of pounds have been raised so far.

When my brother was diagnosed with sarcoma, a rare and aggressive cancer that attacks soft tissue, he dared me to run the London Marathon with him. I have since done so twice and will be again this year, so look out for photos of me training and the link to donate.

Like me, so many people across the constituency have experienced the tragic consequences of cancer.

The new centre will be fundamental to ensuring that fewer of us experience that in the future.

To find out more and to donate, visit: https://www.royalsurreycharity.org.uk/appeal/surgerycancerappeal