New Year’s Honours: Charity worker set up ovarian cancer research centre in mother’s memory

Ovarian Cancer Action founder Allyson Kaye. Picture: Rebecca Marshall

Ovarian Cancer Action founder Allyson Kaye. Picture: Rebecca Marshall - Credit: Rebecca Marshall

The founder of a charity set up after her mother’s premature death from cancer has been made an MBE.

Allyson Kaye, of Belsize Park, was just 22 when she lost her 48-year-old mother to ovarian cancer, a tragedy that spurred her to found Ovarian Cancer Action, which raises awareness about the disease.

She started off with just a part-time PA 11 years ago, but now employs 77 scientists in a dedicated research centre at Imperial College, South Kensington.

Ms Kaye, 52, has seen five-year survival rates for ovarian cancer – often called “the silent killer” – jump from

28 per cent to 44 per cent thanks to the centre’s research.

The mother-of-two, of Wedderburn Road, said: “What happened with my mother was very significant and I didn’t want other families to be put through what I went through.”

Ms Kaye was skiing in Switzerland with her daughters when she was finally able to break the good news with a glass of Prosecco for breakfast. “I was delighted,” she added.

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“To receive an honour feels very special.”