Macmillan raising £1 million for Notts cancer patients

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Macmillan cancer support has launched a new campaign with the aim of raising £1 million for people affected by cancer in Nottinghamshire.

To mark the launch, volunteer fundraisers and managers gathered at the Queen’s Medical Centre tram stop which is serviced by Nottingham Express Transit, who are backing the campaign.

The cancer charity plans to invest over £1 million in new cancer services over the next 3 years including more nurses other services to support the growing number of people living with cancer.

Every year in Nottinghamshire 6,151 people are told they have cancer and more than 28,000 are living with the disease.

This number is set to double by 2030 so urgent action is needed to improve services and ensure people receive the support they need.

The Macmillan Cancer Partnership in Nottinghamshire has already invested more than £6 million to improve local cancer services over the last three years but more needs to be done.

Sue Sanderson, Macmillan Partnership Manager for Nottinghamshire, said: “Improvements in treatment and an ageing population mean more people than ever before are living longer with a cancer diagnosis, which is obviously good news, but this huge population of cancer survivors have their own complex needs. When there is already a huge amount pressure on the NHS with tightening health care budgets, it’s important that we step up to fill the gap in these times of need.”

Wendy Robinson, 59, was treated at King’s Mill Hospital for head and neck cancer, and has benefitted from Macmillan’s support.

She was diagnosed in 2015 and had extensive surgery followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy which left her with speech and mobility problems.

Wendy struggled to adjust to life after treatment, after leaving a successful career in customer services and struggling with her loss of independence.

Wendy said: “I’ve always been a people person, I worked in customer services all my life, so being able to talk to people is a massive thing for me. But now I have problems with my speech, sometimes I slur my words and I can only talk for a short period of time. It really affected my confidence and I became a bit of a recluse. I also really struggled with fatigue which made it very hard going back to work. I’ve always worked hard and been a high achiever so to have my career taken away from me is really difficult and I’m still figuring out what I can do now.”

Wendy was nervous leaving the house by herself after leaving hospital, and has had to rely heavily on her husband Tony and children for support.

She added: “I’ve got a large scar on my neck and a lopsided smile. I’ve also got limited movement in my neck which makes little things like crossing the road really difficult. When you’re told you have cancer, they don’t tell you what to expect afterwards when treatment finishes. It’s had a huge effect on me, it affects everything from your relationships to your finances.”

Macmillan Clinical Psychologist Dr Sanchia Biswas has been helping Wendy to rebuild her confidence. The Macmillan Psycho-Oncology Service at King’s Mill Hospital helps people overcome the emotional and psychological effects of having cancer.

Wendy said: “Sanchia has been wonderful. It’s like having a friend who understands, I can tell her exactly how I’m feeling, she’s really helped me. When you’re going through treatment you’re in a little bubble, with all these health professionals around you and then suddenly it finishes and you find yourself alone with no one to talk to. I was feeling really low so one of the nurses put me in touch with Sanchia. She’s been helping me to set goals, just little things, like leaving the house to meet a friend, or doing some voluntary work. There’s just small steps but I’m going in the right direction.”

The fundraising campaign will enable Macmillan to fund more services like this.

Tanya Taylor, Fundraising Manager for Macmillan in Nottingham, said: “We need your help to raise much needed funds for people affected by cancer in Nottinghamshire. We’re delighted to have NET on board as the very first organisation to join our campaign but we need more support and local people to get behind us to help make a difference. If you are a local company, group, organisation feeling like you want to do your bit then please get in touch. We need your support so that we can fund vital cancer services to help local people with cancer live life, no matter what.”

You can join the campaign by organising a fundraising event, making a donation or join Team Macmillan and take on a challenge. For more information call the supporter care team on 0300 1000 200 or email fundraising@macmillan.org.uk.