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Nicki's Smile & XL group

Posted by: Fundraising 13 April 2012



Nikis Smile


Nicki's Smile, which is a fund of Pancreatic Cancer UK, is delighted to announce that they have been chosen as XL Group's UK Charity of the Year for 2012-2015.

XL Group is a global financial services company, specialising in Insurance and Reinsurance.  They currently employ over 4,000 staff worldwide and around 700 in the UK.  Over the next three years, it is hoped that the XL Group will donate over £100,000 to Nicki's Smile.

Nicki's Smile was set up in memory of Nicki Blake who lost her 2-year battle with pancreatic cancer in November 2010 aged just 33, leaving behind her husband Dan and 3-year old son Joshua.  Over a year before she was diagnosed Nicki had been to hospital suffering from severe abdominal pain but the warning signs for cancer growth in the pancreas were not picked up and she was sent home.  Had the doctors spotted the growth at this point Nicki may well have survived, however by the time they found it the cancer had spread and it was too late.

Pancreatic Cancer UK is the only national charity dedicated to fighting pancreatic cancer on all fronts: through support, information, research and campaigning.

Pancreatic cancer is the 5th most common cause of cancer death in Europe and the USA and is one of the most lethal cancers in the UK.  Over 8,000 people in the UK are diagnosed every year, of which fewer than 20% survive more than a year and less than 3% live for more than 5 years.  Despite these horrifying statistics pancreatic cancer research remains very much under-funded.  In recent months its profile has been raised following the deaths of Patrick Swayze and Steve Jobs, however there remains a real problem with diagnosing the disease early enough for effective treatment to take place.

Dan Blake said, "We are extremely grateful to everyone at the XL Group in the UK who gave us and Pancreatic Cancer UK the opportunity to be their Charity of the Year.  Our vision is to be a catalyst for improving life expectancy and survival rates for patients with pancreatic cancer by funding research into understanding how symptoms can be more accurately identified, thereby aiding early diagnosis.  If we can make a difference to even one person, then Nicki's death would not have been in vain."

James Martin, Chair of the UK Charity Committee at XL Group commented, "We are absolutely thrilled to be in partnership with this extremely important organisation and look forward to working with Dan, Nicki's Smile and Pancreatic Cancer UK to raise crucial funds and increase the profile of this great cause."

Alex Ford, CEO of Pancreatic Cancer UK, said, "We are very grateful that Nicki's Smile and Pancreatic Cancer UK have been chosen by XL Group's UK employees to be their Charity of the Year.  Pancreatic cancer research is very under-funded so this type of financial support is invaluable in the fight against this dreadful disease."

Nicki's Smile next fundraising event is 'An Evening of Magic', at the Finchley Arts Depot, 5 Nether Street, London, N12 0GA on Sunday 13th May 2012.

For further information, please contact info@nickissmile.com.