BIG Harted Bikers and the Ramsey committee of Cancer Research UK have raised more than £56,000 in a single year to help fund research into the disease. The money will be used to buy an essential new piece of state-of-the-art research equipment to help i

BIG Harted Bikers and the Ramsey committee of Cancer Research UK have raised more than £56,000 in a single year to help fund research into the disease.

The money will be used to buy an essential new piece of state-of-the-art research equipment to help in the fight against cancer.

Members of Cancer Research UK's Ramsey and District committee raised £44,540 and Godmanchester cancer patient Paul Burbridge and the Big Harted Bikers contributed £12,000.

The money came from a range of fundraising activities over the past year.

The Ramsey committee, which celebrates its 25th anniversary next year, held events including a Kimbolton sporting bears day in July, regular coffee mornings, a Valentine's ball, and a pink party.

They were supported by customers and staff at the Three Horseshoes pub, golf clubs, football clubs and individuals.

The Big Hearted Bikers, led by cancer patient Paul Burbridge, undertook a gruelling five-day, five-country motorcycling challenge to raise their chunk of the cash.

The money was presented to the Cambridge Research Institute at Addenbrooke's Hospital, where many cancer patients from Huntingdonshire are treated.

The cash will buy a flow cytometer - a piece of kit that allows scientists to quickly and accurately analyse cells to see effects of particular drugs on cancer cells.

The machine can also tell scientists how fast cancer cells are growing.

Richard Grenfell, head of the Addenbrooke's flow cytometry facility, said: "This new piece of cutting-edge technology will increase the amount of information we can gather from precious samples, and will enable researchers to carry out a wider range of experiments.

"We are extremely grateful to the Ramsey committee and the Big Harted Bikers, and to the every member of the public who donated to this cause.

"It is inspiring to know we have such dedicated commitment from our supporters."

Sally Wilson, chairman of the Ramsey committee, said: "We set our sights on raising enough money for this machine after finding out what a difference it would make in the battle against cancer."

Paul Burbridge, a liver and lung cancer patient who is also planning to take part in this month's London Marathon for Cancer Research UK, added: "Since being diagnosed with cancer I have thrown my energies into raising money for research.

"Technology like this will make a real difference in the fight against this disease.