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Ayerza backs testimonial charity for Aviva fund

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Marcos Ayerza is teaming up with Hope Against Cancer and the Aviva Community Fund to tackle a worthwhile cause off the pitch.The Aviva Community Fund is nationwide initiative that offers support and funding of up to £25,000 to causes and projects that are put forward by the public.   Leicester Tigers prop Ayerza is supporting Hope Against Cancer, which aims to raise funding for cutting-edge research into the causes and treatment of cancer in Leicestershire. It is one of the charities he us supporting in his testimonial year.   And the 32-year-old – who has been capped 57 times by Argentina – is hoping the cause is one the rugby community can get behind.   “Hope Against Cancer is a charity that is close to my heart as cancer is a disease that my family unfortunately has experience of,” he said.   “I first got involved two years ago and it is amazing the amount of people they have helped in Leicester for such a small charity.   “They are working very hard to find and diagnose the early stages of cancer. They are an amazing group, and I can’t wait to keep on helping them.   “I’ve chosen them as a testimonial charity, and already we’ve raised more than £15,000 which I’m thrilled will be well spent by them in their research, for more treatments and trials to get more people better again.   “The Aviva Community Fund is so important to a charity like Hope Against Cancer, so that they can keep on growing, keep on raising awareness in Leicester, and keep on funding the technologies to detect the disease and work on trials with patients.   “So it’s key for them, and very important that the community gets behind the fund as it is a great initiative.”   Former players Matt Poole and Martin Johnson are also patrons of the charity and Nigel Rose, chief executive of Hope Against Cancer, says the help of community figures such as Ayerza is invaluable.   “Hope Against Cancer is a small local charity, and support from the Aviva Community Fund would be absolutely transformational,” he said.   “We are hoping to run an advocacy project which would enable local cancer patients to take part in clinical research, which is really important as it leads to new treatments and can have a dramatic and positive impact on the community now and into the future.   “Marcos has been absolutely fantastic and he and his family have become very much a part of the Hope Against Cancer family of supporters.   “He’s helping us in his testimonial year with a number of different events, and as a local organisation we are very dependent on support from other organisations in the community.   “Leicester Tigers have been very supportive of us, so we’re very lucky.”   Marcos Ayerza was speaking about his support of Hope Against Cancer at the Aviva Community Fund launch, a nationwide initiative from Aviva, title sponsor of Aviva Premiership Rugby, which offers support and funding to causes close to your heart. Visit aviva.co.uk/community-fund