Two friends’ search for a silver lining after both their lives were touched by cancer in different ways has led to them being chosen as charity Rosemere Cancer Foundation’s North Lancs/South Cumbria ‘Supporters of the Year’.
Jackie Holmes, of Natland, and Liz Nelson, of Milnthorpe, collected their award following a supporters’ celebration at The Longlands Inn, Tewitfield, organised by Rosemere Cancer Foundation as a thank you to all its local volunteers and fundraisers.
In singling out Jackie and Liz for the accolade, Rosemere Cancer Foundation’s Chief Officer Sue Thompson, who made the award to the pair, praised them for their tireless efforts to raise awareness of the charity’s work in their home area.
Sue said: “Jackie and Liz helped us find a venue for our Kendal Santa Dash, got us invited to Kendal Torchlight and introduced us to a number of local community organisations such as Young Farmers in particular and to the organisers of the Westmorland County Show.
“In addition, they have organised a number of fundraising events for us, most notably balls at Kendal’s Castle Green Hotel this year and in 2016, both of which raised approximately £20,000 each. They have been tireless in their efforts to support us – help, which is a silver lining to the time when both found themselves touched by cancer.”
It was back in 2015 that Jackie was diagnosed with breast cancer. That same year, Liz’s niece Maria Inman, who was just 21-years-old at the time, was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma, a rare soft tissue cancer, while away traveling in Australia and New Zealand. Maria returned home for treatment, which like Jackie, included radiotherapy at Rosemere Cancer Centre, the region’s specialist cancer treatment centre at the Royal Preston Hospital.
It was during that treatment period, which was successful for both Jackie and Maria as both are now in remission, that Liz and Jackie became aware of Rosemere Cancer Foundation and its work to bring world class cancer treatment and services to local people, not just those being treated at Rosemere Cancer Centre but also at cancer units at Westmorland and Furness General Hospitals and the Royal Lancaster Infirmary among others across Lancashire and South Cumbria.
As well as the announcement of Jackie and Liz’s win, the supporters’ afternoon get-together included lunch, musical entertainment by guitar-playing vocalist Carlie Mai, a pupil at Morecambe Community High School, a photo montage review of the past year, updates by Sue and Dr Sarah Hauxwell, Lead Cancer Clinician for the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, and a presentation on the charity’s vision for the future by Rosemere Cancer Foundation’s chairman Peter Mileham OBE. There was also a raffle that raised £179.
Rosemere Cancer Foundation works to fund cutting edge equipment, vital research and other cancer services that are beyond limited NHS resources. For further information on Rosemere Cancer Foundation’s work and how to donate, visit www.rosemere.org.uk