2015 was a difficult year for us as a family as my daughter, Gracie, who was ten at the time, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia. Our world was turned upside down for the six months she was hospitalised and received four gruelling cycles of chemotherapy. It was with very thankful hearts that we ended the year with Gracie back at school and looking forward to celebrating Christmas as a family.

It is a very strange thing to spend your day reviewing protocols and budgets for studies to all of a sudden be at the other end of the spectrum, sitting in a children’s oncology ward hearing familiar names and terminology used for treatment on your own child.

I have been in the industry for many years and we all have our down days. The obstacles and the challenges can make us forget why we do what we do. With each new day that comes, I can never forget, and I am always grateful. I cannot thank the specific team of people who created and worked on the treatment regimen that has helped save my daughter’s life enough. But I can thank each one of you, my colleagues, as representatives of them.

Every single one of you plays a different role, it doesn’t matter how big or how little. Every little thing you do is important in bringing a drug to market. If you ever question the value of your work in the grand scheme of things, please believe me when I say this: as we sat with our daughter through the long dark hours of night, or waited alone for her to return from surgery, it was hope that sustained us. And that is what you all do for a living. You are hope-givers; giving hope to the thousands and millions of people in GP surgeries and hospitals around the world. It may not feel like it, I know only too well, but I can testify to the truth of it. Drugs may save lives, but hope sustains the spirit. And that can be just as important.