Patients undergoing chemotherapy at Walsall Manor Hospital will benefit from a clutter-free environment for their treatment thanks to the fundraising efforts of a grateful family.
Ann Thomas, aged 59, is currently undergoing chemotherapy following her stomach cancer diagnosis in July 2018. The Hednesford mother-of-four, who has described her care as “wonderful,” came into the hospital with husband Kevin and daughter Helen to hand over a cheque for £3,058, some of which has already started to be spent.
The cash is being used to make more room on the chemotherapy ward so that patients can have more than one relative or friend with them when they come in for treatment. And their fundraising efforts all started with a bottle of perfume!
Helen explained: “I used facebook to sell £1 tickets to raffle off a bottle of Chanel and this just grew and grew. We had people offering all sorts of things including tickets for Enrique Iglesias. I also had people getting in touch who went to school with me years ago who read about mum’s situation and wanted to help.
“I originally thought if we could raise £100 it would be a help but it just kept growing. And we had another boost of cash when mum’s son-in-law Dave had his head shaved last October – mum also had her head shaved that day but didn’t tell anyone until she got there. People have been really generous.”
Ann, who is a customer care assistant at the Co-op, said: “We just wanted to do something to recognise how wonderful all the staff are on the chemotherapy unit. They are all so kind and caring.
“The money is being used to buy smaller tables that take up less room and also to buy storage so the ward is less cluttered. This means that patients can take more than one person along to their treatment if they wish which helps the time pass.”
Kerry O’Callaghan, Macmillan Lead Chemotherapy Nurse, said: “As well as having new tables we’ll be able to buy thermometers for patients and a couple of heat pads. The new storage unit we buy for the ward will mean we can create more room for patients and their families.
“We’re really grateful for this donation and thank Ann and her family for making a difference to others in this way.”
Our Well Wishers charity supports fundraisers to buy items above and beyond what the NHS can provide. If you want to get involved or stage an event contact Fundraising Manager Georgie Westley on 01922 656643 or email Georgie.Westley@walsallhealthcare.nhs.uk