Whimper the horse is playing a leading part in Stand Up to Cancer, a joint fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4.

His owner, Dr Matt Smalley, is a Cardiff University scientist who studies the biology of breast cancer.

Dr Smalley has been working on a study that could help to identify women with the most aggressive form of the disease and scientists believe the discovery has the potential to identify women who might need intensive treatment to prevent their disease recurring or spreading.

That is where Whimper comes in!

Riding Whimper helps Dr Smalley wind down and think after a long day in the lab (Pic: Cancer Research UK)

Dr Smalley explained: “My time at work – in the office and the lab – is non-stop and intense. I use my riding as a way of winding down and I find it’s a good time to think and get some important exercise.”

He’s urging everyone to back Stand Up To Cancer and choose their own way to support the campaign, be it riding a horse, standing up while taking part in a quiz, standing up at work or home or holding a school or office bake-off.

Dr Smalley’s work is part funded by Cancer Research UK, and says: “My work in the lab includes studies such as personalised medicine, which have the potential to identify women who might need intensive treatment to prevent their disease recurring or spreading and those whom could be spared such treatments.

“Every day, 45 people are diagnosed with cancer in Wales. By joining Stand Up To Cancer, supporters in Wales will be uniting with doctors, nurses, scientists and celebrities to generate funds, raise awareness and help accelerate progress in life-saving cancer research.”

Launched in the UK in 2012, Stand Up To Cancer has already raised more than £25million to fund translational research, which takes developments in the lab and transforms them into brand new tests and treatments for cancer patients.

This year, there are many ways to Stand Up To Cancer and show support. Cancer Research UK is calling on everyone to take a stand and do something to help raise money at work, school or at home – from fancy dress days and sponsored silences to bake sales and open mic nights.

Alison Birkett, Cancer Research UK’s spokesperson for Wales, said: “One in two of us will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in our lives. Cancer doesn’t discriminate. Whether it’s you or someone you know, it leaves its mark on us all.”

Stand Up To Cancer is supported by a host of celebrities including Davina McCall and Alan Carr. This year’s campaign culminates on Friday 21 October with a night of live TV on Channel 4 led by the brightest stars in film, TV and music.

For more information and to get involved visit www.standuptocancer.org.uk