A Bristol businessman is about to undertake the latest in a series of physical challenges as he crosses the Atlantic this week to take part in the New York Marathon (on Sunday, 7th November). Raising money for the specialist Urology unit at the University College London Hospital (UCLH), Neville Parnell has set up his own fund, the Parnell Fund Foundation, to say thank you to UCLH for the expert treatment he has received over recent years from their specialist medical teams.
Neville, who is the owner of Hanham Garage in Longwell Green, is now well on the road to recovery after extensive treatment and reconstructive surgery from consultant urological surgeon Jeremy Ockrim, following a series of long-standing and complex urological issues.
“Without the expertise, skilful treatment and outstanding support of Mr Ockrim and the UCLH specialist urology unit,” says Neville, “I could never have embarked on the physical challenges I have set myself nor enjoy the quality of life I have now. Raising funds will help enable the Urology unit to continue with their research and be at the forefront of their field in helping people like me.”
The New York Marathon is the latest challenge being undertaken by Neville. Since founding the Parnell Fund in September 2009, he has already raised over £7,500, undertaking challenges including the London Parks Half Marathon, the Bath Half Marathon, the Three Peaks 24 Hour Challenge and the 10 Mile Canoe Challenge on the River Wye. Once he’s back from New York, he will begin training for his 2011 programme which includes the Edinburgh Marathon, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and canoeing from Bath to Westminster.
Jeremy Ockrim, honorary senior lecturer at UCL and consultant urological surgeon adds: “The Female and Reconstructive unit at UCLH is the largest centre of its kind in the UK and provides expertise to urologists in England, Wales and abroad with 70% of its work referred from other hospitals. It has an international reputation for urological research, outcome analysis, publication, as well as teaching. We are very grateful to Mr Parnell for the funds he is raising to help further our important work.”
Besides raising funds for the UCLH Urology unit in undertaking these challenges, Neville also hopes to tackle some of the taboos relating to urological issues which men, in particular, are not so comfortable talking about – such as bladder dysfunction, incontinence after prostrate surgery, prolapse and congenital abnormalities that have chronic disabling effects on a person’s life. It’s estimated by the NHS that up to 6 million people in the UK have some degree of urinary incontinence.
The Parnell Fund is a fund within the University College London Hospitals Charity which is registered in England and Wales No. 229771.
To find out more and to support the Parnell Fund for UCLH urology research, visit www.parnellfund.org.