Each week we are celebrating the work of our amazing “Judo Heroes” – members who are currently working and volunteering across the country during the global Covid-19 pandemic.

There are a number of fantastic initiatives being carried out throughout Great Britain and we would like to celebrate the work of our members currently involved in these projects. Each week we will profile a range of work from our “judo heroes”.

If you know of a member who is currently working within their local community, fundraising or going above and beyond to help those isolated, please nominate them to become one of our “Judo Heroes” whereby we will profile their work.

We have, once again, received a number of great nominations, here is our three nominees from this week:

This week starts off on a sad note after we learnt of judo coach Lee Hancock’s horrific battle against a self-mutating cancer that is not responding to treatment.

Lee was found to have a BRAF V600E mutation, which means that his cancer type ‘mutates’ whenever it is attacked. Whenever they try to treat this cancer, it learns what is attacking it and mutates so you can’t stop it. The gene mutation makes his tumours resistant to chemotherapy and other treatments. Up to one in five people with certain kinds of cancer will have this mutation, which means a very high chance of mortality.

To extend Lee’s life, and therefore others, the family have been given the opportunity to access a method called CRISPR which traces faults in the genes. When these faults are found they can be switched off using targeted treatment to effectively kill off the cancer cells.

When Lee’s cancer is better understood better matches can be made for treatment. Achieving our target would fully fund crucial CRISPR sequencing and a dedicated, full time researcher at University of Birmingham. This research could lead to the answer that saves Lee from an early death.

So far the family have raised over £25,000 but the support from the judo family, we can help push them further towards their target. Click here to read more of Lee’s story.

Help support Lee’s cause by donating on their JustGiving page here

Jack Kelly has been working on the front line as a Police Officer during the current pandemic. If working on the front line wasn’t enough, Jack has had to deal with the death of his dad another judo hero, Paul NED Kelly.

Long Eaton’s David Hawkins has been working on the front-line as a PC in his local Nottinghamshire Police Force.

David is a British Judo Level 2 coach in his spare time.