North East Connected


A TROUP of dancers from DanceMax Studio in Consett have been striking a pose to help give a leg up to Stand Up To Cancer, a joint fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4.

Kirstin McGuigan, Principal and Owner of DanceMax, 33, is rallying people to make a stand against the disease in support of her mum Lynne McGuigan, 59, who was diagnosed and successfully treated for breast cancer.

Kirstin, a former European dance champion, said: “Mum was just 53 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer following a routine breast screening at the Royal Victoria Infirmary. She had two lumps removed and breast reconstruction surgery. As well as daily radiotherapy for six weeks at the Freeman Hospital.

“We’re so lucky that her cancer was diagnosed early and she has celebrated her five years clear earlier this year and continues to be able to see her grandchildren grow up.”

DanceMax is a freestyle disco school. It dancers attend competitions across the country and the school holds a titles such as the individual U16 Starter World Champion 2019 Olivia Elder, the Adult Team World Champions 2019 and the Rising Stars Addict Scholarship Winner 2019 Jake Beet.

With the help of her dancers the mum-of-two to Charlie and Robyn and stepmum to Olivia, who is Under 16 World Champion, is encouraging people to support life-saving research by making a stand against cancer.

Stand Up To Cancer unites scientists, celebrities and communities across the UK, raising money to take developments from the lab and transform them, quickly, into brand new tests and treatments.

The campaign is supported by a host of stars including Davina McCall, Alan Carr, Maya Jama, Greg Rutherford and Joe Lycett.

By sharing her experience, Kirstin hopes to motivate everyone in the North East to get involved in Stand Up To Cancer’s ‘Fortnight of Fundraising’ from 11-25 October.

A free fundraising pack is available full of ideas on how to help make a real difference to people diagnosed with cancer in the region, and across the UK, by raising some cancer crushing cash at work, home or school.

Kirstin said: “Success stories like my mum’s would not be possible without research. I’m so grateful for the treatment that saved her life. That’s why I’m giving my heartfelt support to this vitally important campaign and my dancers are happy to use their talent to raise awareness and give cancer the boot.”

People can choose to fundraise in their own way or pick from ideas in the fundraising pack.

These include an ‘unpredictable dress up’ challenge, a two-week fitness challenge or hosting a ‘crafts and laughs’ evening for a donation.

For those who want to take on cancer in style, there’s also a fun range of Stand Up To Cancer clothing and accessories available online.

Lisa Millett, Cancer Research UK’s spokesperson for the North East, said: “We are very grateful to Kirstin and her dancers for their support. There’s been amazing progress in the past few decades and more people are now surviving cancer than ever before. But with one in two of us in the UK set to develop the disease at some point in our lives, there’s still so much more to do.

“Cancer is unforgiving, unpredictable and relentless. But by standing up to it and raising money for research, we can beat it at its own game.

“Supporting Stand Up To Cancer enables scientists to explore brave new ways to fight the disease and develop radical treatments, meaning more lives are saved. There’s power in numbers and if we all work together we can defeat anything, even cancer.”

Right now, scientists are developing new tactics to boost the immune system’s ability to take out cancer cells. They’re creating cutting-edge technologies to detect cancer cells in the blood, which could transform the way cancer is diagnosed. And they’re using MRI to turn radiotherapy into a more precise, personalised and powerful anti-cancer weapon.

Since it was launched in the UK in 2012, Stand Up To Cancer has raised over £62 million to fund 52 pioneering clinical trials and research projects.

This autumn will see a dedicated season of programming for Stand Up To Cancer on Channel 4.

To get involved visit

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