20 cancer charities come together to highlight the importance of early diagnosis and empowering patients

Fundraising news // 20th September 2021

Myeloma UK and nineteen other charities representing rare and less common cancers have joined forces once again in a major fundraising campaign, 20 for 20.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of rare and less common cancers, encourage people with symptoms to seek help early, empower patients in their treatment journey, and highlight the need for research into better treatments.

In its second year, the 20 for 20 campaign sees the 20 charities encourage their supporters to take on a challenge activity for 20 days, based on the number 20.

The challenge launches on Monday 20 September 2021 and participants can do any challenge or activity based on the number 20 across 20 consecutive days, whether that’s running 20 minutes a day, baking 20 cakes, or doing 20 burpees every morning.

Rare and less common cancers account for 47 percent of cancers diagnosed and more than half (55 percent) of all cancer deaths in England. The incurable blood cancer myeloma is one of these rare and less common cancers and currently affects 24,000 patients in the UK.

Many charities who support patients with rare and less common cancers are also the drivers of key research in these areas but face an uncertain future as income has substantially dropped since the coronavirus pandemic. Collectively, their focus across the 20 for 20 campaign is to make sure they can continue to support both patients and the NHS at this crucial time.

Emily Legg, Director of Income Generation at Myeloma UK said:

“Patient need has always driven everything we do at Myeloma UK and, as we look to the future of health care provision post pandemic, this means more now than it has ever done. Like most charities, the work Myeloma UK does has been impacted by COVID-19 and the pandemic has meant there is an even greater need for our patient support services, advocacy work as well as funding for research. Myeloma UK is more committed than ever to creating a hopeful future for every patient, and we cannot allow COVID-19 to stop us building these futures. Fundraising is more important than it ever has been because every pound that is raised for Myeloma UK makes our work possible and changes patient lives for the better.”

Jane Lyons, Chief Executive of Cancer52, a charity that represents more than 100 rare and less common patient support groups and charities in the UK, said:

“Having a rare or less common cancer already presents a huge range of challenges, from getting diagnosed early to making sure patients get the right treatment. For countless patients and their families, the charities taking part in 20 for 20 are a lifeline of support, information, and campaigning as well as funding research specifically looking into these cancers.

20 for 20 is a powerful statement about a unique collaboration to not only bring in some much-needed charity income that has been lost due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but to raise awareness of these cancers and to empower people to seek help. As a strong collective voice, we believe we can achieve more together than apart.”

20 for 20 is open to everyone, visit to register and choose your chosen charity to support.

20 for 20 is proudly supported by global biopharmaceutical company Takeda as its headline sponsor.