A foundation has been launched to raise money for St George's Hospital in London in memory of chef John King.
The John King Brain Tumour Foundation is initially funding a garden and state-of-the-art operating equipment for the hospital.
King was diagnosed with a glioblastoma brain tumour in 2015, a condition from which he passed away on 22 November 2016, aged 65.
His 40-year career in the kitchen included spells in London at the Dorchester, the Connaught, Le Caprice and Les Ambassadeurs, before moving to the Mandarin Oriental Manila in the Philippines. Most recently he had taken up a post as a part-time lecturer at Westminster Kingsway College, where he started his career, as well as working as chief caviar packer at King's Fine Food alongside his wife Laura, owner of the fine food specialist supplier.
During treatment, Laura and John discovered the garden for patients outside McKissock Ward at the Atkinson Morley wing of St George's Hospital in Tooting. The garden, which had been commissioned by brain surgeon Henry Marsh to help with patient recovery, was in need of work.
With the agreement of the hospital, Laura and John adopted the garden and with a team of friends started to maintain it. Their wish to support the work of St George's Hospital Trust in the treatment of brain tumours has resulted in the launch of the Foundation.
From money raised after John's funeral, and with the support of Tony Woods of Garden Club London, the garden is being upgraded and maintained for patients.
The charity's first major project is to raise money for a state-of-the-art microscope not available through NHS funding for the hospital. This will allow more of a brain tumour to be removed during surgery, prolonging a patient's life.
Laura King said: "Ultimately we want to support research into this fatal cancer which receives only 1% of all cancer research funding and has a life expectancy of just 15 months. Sadly many more young people are being diagnosed with malignant brain tumours. All monies raised will be spent wisely and managed by our board of trustees. There will be no administration fees so every penny really will count. Apart from John's four beautiful children, this will be his lasting legacy."
Donations can be made here: https://www.justgiving.com/johnkingbraintumourfoundation
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