South Hams family wants more research

28 March 2019, 11:24 | Updated: 28 March 2019, 11:32

A Devon family have raised £5,200 to support research at the University of Exeter Medical School and Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (RD&E), to investigate the disease that killed a much-loved husband and father.

The donation is in memory of Bob Mason, a Chartered Engineer from Kingsbridge in South Devon, who died on 4th August 2018, aged 73, after a battle with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

Bob's wife June Mason, and his children Jeremy, Steve and Jo, have undertaken a series of fundraising activities to help raise awareness of the condition and support research in Bob's name. 

They will also be completing the London-Brighton bike ride this summer, taking place on 16th June. 

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) causes a build-up of scarring in the lungs, causing them to become stiffer and making it difficult to breathe. 

More than 30,000 people in the UK are known to have IPF, and it is responsible for one per cent of all deaths in the country, however there is currently no cure and treatments are limited. 

Further research is therefore critical for accelerating drug development and improving patient outcomes. 

Dr Chris Scotton, of the University of Exeter Medical School, and Chairperson of the British Association for Lung Research, investigates several lung conditions, with a particular focus on IPF. 

He said: "We are incredibly grateful to June and her family for their generosity and support of the work that we are doing. 

"IPF is a progressive condition with no current cure, and Bob's story is a stark reminder of why we need to do more to understand the causes and find new treatments. 

"IPF is responsible for thousands of deaths per year, but gets surprisingly little attention and receives only limited research funding compared to other diseases such as cancer - and that makes donations such as this even more valuable." 

The family visited the University of Exeter Medical School and RD&E to see how their generosity will support research into the condition. 

For anyone wishing to donate to the London-Brighton bike ride, 'Bob's Bikers', there is a JustGiving page which can be found here: