MBE award for cancer campaigner

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A CHARITY campaigner who has raised more than £1m in ten years in memory of her husband has been appointed an MBE.

Chris Knighton, from Wallsend, set up the Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund in 2002, a year after her husband died from the asbestos-related disease.

Initially Chris vowed to raise £100,000 in her husband’s name because that was the average amount of compensation paid to mesothelioma sufferers.

But ten years after setting up the fund she broke the £1m barrier, and launched the first mesothelioma tissue and blood bank in the UK and Europe, which will have a major impact on research into the disease.

And now the 65-year-old has been appointed an MBE for services to Mesothelioma Research after she was nominated for the honour by the patrons of the fund.

Chris, who was presented with the honour by the Queen at Buckingham Palace last week, said: “The day was emotional, amazing and humbling and one I will never forget.

“Hopefully the work we have done and the work we continue to do will make a difference to people with mesothelioma.”

So far, the charity has funded four major research studies of mesothelioma and set up mesothelioma self-help and friendship groups in both North and South Tyneside.