After 20 years at its helm, Rosemere Cancer Foundation’s Chief Officer Sue Thompson is taking the charity’s 20 Years Anniversary Appeal to raise £1.5 million in her stride – literally.
For on Thursday, 17th August, Sue will set out on a 140-mile sponsored walk to raise money for the appeal, which launched in March to celebrate the 20th anniversary of regional specialist cancer treatment centre, the Rosemere Cancer Centre, opening.
Her journey will start in Barrow at Furness General Hospital and, if all goes to plan, will end seven days later on Wednesday, 23rd August, when she reaches Burnley General Hospital, having made stops at Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal, the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, Blackpool Victoria Hospital, the Royal Preston Hospital, Chorley & South Ribble Hospital and the Royal Blackburn Hospital.
En route, Sue will walk for up to nine hours a day to complete the trek’s longest stages, which are between 24 and 26 miles.
She will also have to tackle terrain that ranges from Lakeland fells to moorland and coastal footpaths as she spans the whole of South Cumbria and Lancashire – Rosemere Cancer Foundation’s heartland and the region served by the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust centre, which is based at the Royal Preston Hospital, and provides all the territory’s radiotherapy amongst other specialist cancer treatment.
Sue said: “Through Rosemere Cancer Foundation, it’s been my privilege to support our regional cancer centre since it opened 20 years ago as the centre and charity launched together. Rosemere Cancer Foundation also funds projects at the other eight hospitals in Lancashire and South Cumbria that provide local cancer treatment, which is why my walk visits each of them.
“Over the years, my job has brought me into contact with health professionals doing the most wonderful work and with members of the public, many former cancer patients, who have left me humbled by their efforts to raise money for Rosemere Cancer Foundation. Their combined spirited drive to help those affected by cancer unites the region. In this special anniversary year, to respond with my own challenge is the least I can do although right now, I must admit, the prospect of it feels a bit daunting!”
Along the way, Sue will have a variety of walking partners to spur her on. Joining her for her first day will be Neil Townsend, Chief Executive of CancerCare, a South Lakes and North Lancashire Charity that provides support for cancer patients and their families during and beyond treatment.
CancerCare receives funding from Rosemere Cancer Foundation to provide complementary healthcare such as aromatherapy massage to newly diagnosed cancer patients in the South Lakes/North Lancs area to help them cope with the side-effects of their treatment and to re-build their self -confidence.
On day three as she walks the 24 miles from Westmorland General Hospital to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, Sue will have Consultant Oncologist Dr Gerry Skailes, who is based at Rosemere Cancer Centre, by her side. Dr Skailes will then stay with her to the end of the trek. They will be joined on day five, the 18 mile journey from Blackpool Victoria Hospital to the Royal Preston Hospital, by Sue’ sister Judi Stock and by Jackie Brunton, Lead Cancer Nurse for Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Hospitals.
The following day on the 24 mile walk from Preston to the Royal Blackburn Hospital, Sue and Gerry’s guests will be Karen Partington, Chief Executive of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, and the trust’s Lead Cancer Nurse Anne Tomlinson, who will both stay with the duo as far as Chorley & South Ribble Hospital. On their final day, former patient and charity campaigner Bill Honeywell, of Clitheroe, will see them to the Burnley finish line.
Rosemere Cancer Foundation’s 20 Years Anniversary Appeal is funding the latest in robotic surgical systems for Rosemere Cancer Centre, a state-of-the-art research facility there and the refurbishment of its in-patient ward. To sponsor Sue for the appeal, go to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SueThompson14
To follow Sue on her walk and for further information on the appeal projects, Rosemere Cancer Centre and Rosemere Cancer Foundation, visit www.rosemere.org.uk