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Families join forces to detect brain cancer early

Technology

Families affected by childhood cancer joined forces to launch a new fundraising campaign celebrating 20 years of the Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre (CBTRC). The University of Nottingham’s annual fundraising campaign Life Cycle will this year focus on raising more money for research into the deadly form of cancer.

 To launch the £500,000 appeal, which this year will involve a ‘superhero stroll’, children at different stages in their treatment and their families, as well as families who have lost loved-ones to the disease, came together on International Childhood Cancer Awareness Day along with University experts, surgeons and students. University Sports teams, who have launched a partnership with the appeal, were also on hand to give the children fitness challenges as well as sports demonstrations.

The CBTRC has been at the forefront of examining and removing childhood brain tumours since the 1980s. Parents who understand the benefits of the work include Neenu Minhas, 45, and her husband Raman, 45. The family moved from Leicester to Nottingham to be nearer to the centre after their son Aiden was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive tumour when he was only two years old. Aiden was always an active child until the couple realised that he was becoming more restless and was suffering from sickness. He was rushed to hospital where a scan found an aggressive tumour. Luckily it was removed, but Aiden is still undergoing treatment after doctors discovered two new lesions. Raman said: “We were extremely lucky that Aiden’s tumour is an area of special interest for Professor Richard Grundy who is always willing to look beyond what is conventional and look at other options to choose a treatment protocol based on best current data.

 “We are grateful every single day for what Mr Macarthur and Professor Grundy at the Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre have done for our family". At the launch Aiden was reunited with his surgeon Donald Macarthur, honorary clinical associate professor in neurosurgery at CBTRC. Mr Macarthur said: “The centre was founded 20 years ago and now has a number of distinct but overlapping research groups with a very large number of staff. We have been very successful in driving down the time to diagnosis of children’s brain tumours through a programme over the past five years called Headsmart and we’re beginning to develop enhanced understanding of how we can treat children more safely and more effectively.

"If you can pick up a child’s tumour when it’s smaller it’s far more likely that I as a surgeon will be able to remove it and being able to completely remove a tumour makes a difference to the chances of curing that child of the brain tumour. Children who present later with brain tumour are more likely to have symptoms and signs due to damage of the brain and the nature of the nervous system is that you cannot reverse the damage once it’s happened.

 "Sadly, although brain tumours are the commonest cancer killer in children they currently attract less than one per cent of national cancer research budget so they make the biggest impact in the children’s cancer world yet receive a very small amount. We’re at a very exciting time for brain tumour research and we are very pleased to have this support from The University of Nottingham through Life Cycle 7.”

 Steve Mills, 66, and Cheryl, 61, of Ruddington, were at the event after their granddaughter, Eloise, 12 also a patient of Mr Macarthur, was diagnosed with a tumour when she was four. Steve said: “When Eloise first went for her operation we were very upset and scared that we might lose her as we didn’t realise her tumour was benign at the time. The university does far more research than just brain tumour research for example some of the research being done in lighting up solid cancers that will be able to tell us immediately whether a woman has got breast cancer without having to do a scan. It’s all state of the art, breaking news and it’s being developed here where we live - we’ve always lived in Nottingham and this shows why Nottingham is one of the best universities you can go to."

 And families of those who weren't so lucky were also on hand to add their support to the campaign. Halim Mjeshtri, 37, of Leicester, has raised nearly £50,000 for the research centre after his four-year-old son Alfi died from an aggressive tumour. He said: "It was too late for Alfi and he passed away. He turned four-years-old in hospital when we found out what was wrong with him. We have raised money ourselves for the research centre for the last five years. We went through some difficulties when coming to terms with it and why we didn't have a chance. We were told that what Alfi had is very rare and there is not much research on it. It is not just about raising money, it is also about awareness, because the earlier you find it, it will be treated before it grows too big."

Each month, more than 45 parents in the UK are told their child has a brain tumour. Almost 40 per cent of children diagnosed with ependymoma do not survive and of those that do, two thirds are left with major disabilities.

Researchers at the CBTRC are trying to change that and their world-leading research is working to understand what causes ependymomas to develop. This would be a major breakthrough that could lead to screening tests to detect brain cancer early, and safer, more effective treatments that don’t have the long-term side effects that many patients suffer.

10 Steps to success

Interviews, Tips & Ideas

The IBD 10 Secrets to Success...

There is a question many people ask, why are some people more successful? Is it smartness? Working harder? Risk takers? Having powerful and infl uential friends?

Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) research concluded that the following 10 reasons account for these diff erences in levels of success. These IBD 10 Secrets to Success are:

1. How you think is everything: Always be positive. Think Success, not Failure. Beware of a negative environment. Your belief that you can accomplish your goals has to be unwavering. The moment you say to yourself “I can’t…”, then you won’t. Positive things happen to positive people.

2. Decide upon Your True Dreams and Goals: Write down your specifi c goals and develop a plan to reach them. Remember, a New Year’s resolution that isn’t written down is just a dream, and dreams are not goals. Goals are those concrete, measurable stepping stones of achievement that track your progress towards your dreams.

3. Take Action. Goals are nothing without action. Do something every day towards your goals. It may be small, but it’s still an action.

4. Never Stop Learning: Go back to school or read books. Get training & acquire skills. Become a lifelong learner.

5. Be Persistent and Work Hard: Success is a marathon, not a sprint. Never give up.

6. Learn to Analyse Details: Get all the facts, all the input. Learn from your mistakes. Avoid making decisions with incomplete data – both are traits of successful people. Spend time gathering details, but don’t catch ‘analysis paralysis’.

7. Focus Your Time And Money: Don’t let other people or things distract you. Remain laser focused on your goals and surround yourself with positive people that believe in you. Don’t be distracted by the naysayer’s or tasks that are not helping you achieve your goals.

8. Don’t Be Afraid To Innovate: Be diff erent. Following the herd is a sure way to mediocrity. Follow through on that break-out idea you have. Ask yourself “What would I do if I wasn’t afraid?”

9. Deal And Communicate With People Eff ectively: No person is an island. Learn to understand and motivate others. Successful people develop and nurture a network and they only do that by treating people openly, fairly and many times fi rmly.

10. Be Honest And Dependable: Take responsibility, otherwise numbers 1 – 9 won’t matter.

6 Steps to Sarting a Business from Zero

Interviews, Tips & Ideas

Start your business now!

Every great business started with drive and a passion. Even moguls like Richard Branson, Oprah, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett started at zero.

If you know my story, you know that after I was injured in professional football, my lifelong dream of playing came to an end. I spent a year and a half broke and sleeping on my sister’s couch trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life.

At that time my main passion was sports, and that was my focus for as long as I could remember. I wanted to have the flexibility to do what I love, and make a living that would set me up for the rest of my life. But I had no idea where to begin.

Through equal parts luck and persistence, that year I found a brilliant mentor. I interned with him for close to a year and he paid me about $500 a month. I poured myself into learning from him. I also did whatever I could to earn income on the side working event marketing gigs and other odd jobs.

As I put one foot in front of the other, I started seeing where my passion and skills intersected. I loved connecting people and adding value to their lives. I loved providing whatever service I could to them that would help solve a problem they had. As I pursued the things that interested me, I began to put together networking events. I started to form what would become my business and brand, ever evolving along the way.

Related: How to Connect With High-Profile Influencers

It wasn’t as if I had a perfect plan mapped out. I combined my passions, strengths and vision to create the ideal business for me along the way. The most passionate entrepreneurs are driven by more than just money. They’re driven by living a fulfilled life.  

If you haven’t yet discovered your passion, I encourage you to do so. That’s part of the reason I started The School of Greatness Academy -- to help people pursue their passions. Think about what excited you as a kid, or the thing that when you do it you lose all sense of time and space, you are so lost in the moment. You will be happiest when you follow your passion. I love what Steve Jobs had to say about this:

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.

Once you have figured out what you want to do, here are some important things to keep in mind while starting your business from zero:

 

1. Research your market.

Knowing what the competition knows won’t cut it. Go deep. Dive in to your market and study it like an expert.  

 Search Google for keywords that are related to your industry. Don’t get discouraged if the market seems flooded. You can use this to your advantage. It means that it is working for those people and you can make it work for you. There is money there.

 

2. Set a tangible financial goal.

I set new goals every six months and always stretch my initial mark. Work backwards and figure out what you need to do each day to get to where you want to be. Set a goal that is a stretch for you and look at the steps you need to take every day to accomplish that goal.

 

Related: 3 Keys to Designing a Life You Wouldn't Trade for Anything

 

3. When you create a website, make the content shareable.

It’s great to reference some the leaders in your space, but when you are developing your own brand, it’s important to create unique content on a single hub. A site that your readers and viewers can reference back to, for more of your incredible content. I lean on Derek Halpern who’s a pro at this.  

 

4. Build a list.

Email is best form of currency online and building an email list is one of the most important tools in building a business. As you develop your shareable site, begin building a list of emails of the people that visit your site. Then continue to provide them with value. This will translate into buyers for the future launch of your product or service.

 

Adding in an opt-in form on your website and having a place to store your emails are the first two steps to building your email list. Free resources like HelloBar.com and AppSumo.com allow you to collect email information on your website. To store email addresses, I recommend the program Aweber, which even offers a free 30-day trial.

 

5. Launch a product or service you can sell.

If you have a financial goal that you’ve set out for the next six months, then you have to sell something. Take the time to figure out the biggest challenges your audience is facing and build your relationship with them. Then create something that solves their problem. I know this is easier said than done, but it’s critical. Your leads come from your list, you convert them to customers, follow up and build a relationship.  

 

6.  Start NOW and improve as you go.

A lot of people waste time thinking about making things perfect before they launch their business. The logo, the website, the copy -- everything. This is a waste of time. Sell your product before you make it by offering a pre-order. Focus on getting sales and attracting leads. Successful companies launch all the time and they aren’t perfect.  

 

Think of Facebook and all the changes and improvements it has made. Start with a small product and always be improving.  Launch online you can sell over and over and not have to trade time for dollars.

 

The most important thing is to enjoy the process and know that you don’t have to make it perfect. Start today. If not now, when? This article was found at the flowing address https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/243887 if you like this article or want more information go to  Lewis howes 

blog he also wrote this article 

http://lewishowes.com/ 

Bookkeeping tips for small businesses

Interviews, Tips & Ideas

Emily Coltman, 26th January 2016

When you’re running your own business, it’s important to make sure you keep your records and bookkeeping in order. Not only does this help you to keep on the right side of the taxman, it also means you’ll have useful, up-to-the-minute information about your business’s profit and its cash flow.

Emily Coltman FCA, Chief Accountant to FreeAgent – providers of award-winning online accounting system for small businesses and freelancers – gives her five top tips for making sure you stay on the right track when it comes to your bookkeeping.

Track your cash in and out

Remember that cash is the lifeblood of any business. If you don’t know what’s come in and what’s going out, you won’t know if you’ve got sufficient money to pay your upcoming bills or to cover your taxes. If you don’t already do so, try making use of the speed and convenience of online banking. You should find that monitoring your account online makes it quicker and easier to track the money that’s going in and out of your business. You can even download statements from online banking and upload them to FreeAgent, making it even more straightforward to work out where you’re earning and spending money.

Invoice online

You can save time and paper by e-mailing your estimates and invoices to your customers, and chasing non-payments with automatic email reminders. This will also help you make sure you get paid the money you've earned for your work!

Keep on top of your bills

Don’t sour the relationships you have with your suppliers by forgetting to pay your bills. Instead, try to keep track of any bills that you’re not going to pay straight away, and make sure you keep a record of when they’re due to be paid - so that you can pay them before the deadlines. Not only will this help keep your suppliers happy - and you never know when you might need a supplier to do you an urgent favour, such as a rush order - you may also be able to take advantage of early payment discounts. You can do all four of these easily, and produce management accounts, by using a simple online accounting system like FreeAgent.

Track all your expenses

As well as spending money from your business bank account, you’re bound to spend money out of your own pocket on business expenses. But it’s easy to forget to keep track of these expenses when you’re doing your bookkeeping. For example, if you travel to visit a client and buy your train ticket using a personal credit card, remember that this still counts as a cost of your business. If you don’t put it in your accounts, then your profit will look higher than it actually was, and worse, you’ll pay too much tax. Consider using a tool like Receipt Bank to photograph your expense receipts on your iPhone and feed them automatically into your accounts - so you won’t run the risk of forgetting about them.

Keep your records carefully

Make sure that you keep all your paperwork, either as hard copies, or by scanning them onto your computer. HMRC is quite happy for you to keep your business records as soft copies, so long as you can access them readily - but remember that if a document has writing on both sides (such as terms and conditions), you must scan both sides. The exception to that is anything that has a tax deduction written on the piece of paper, such as a dividend voucher, or bank interest certificate. In these cases you must keep the hard copy.

However you keep your records, have a system and stick to it. Make sure that you can easily lay hands on any piece of paper in your system, in case of a query from your accountant or from HMRC as well as in case you need it. Sort documents by type (e.g. invoices, bills, bank statements) and by order such as date or alphabetical or both - rather than just filing them in one big pile.

You may also want to consider using an online accounting system such as FreeAgent to help you manage your record more efficiently. This will also allow you to attach scanned copies of documents such as bills to the entries in the software, which will save you having to look for them later.

Bookkeeping isn’t the most interesting of jobs, but it’s much easier to manage if you make use of all available tools and keep your records regularly updated. It’s easier to do an hour a week than to have to spend a month collecting your information at year end - and you could also save on accountants’ fees by keeping your records and paperwork in perfect order.

Emily Coltman FCA is Chief Accountant to FreeAgent, who provide an award-winning online accounting system designed to meet the needs of small businesses and freelancers. Try it for free at www.freeagent.com

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