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Tuesday, May 21, 2013
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Going that extra length... to raise much-needed money for the Llandough Breast Centre
Friday, 11 May 2012
May 15 at 4pm at Cottrell Park Golf Club
A CHARITY walk to raise money for the Breast Centre at Llandough Hospital is being arranged for May 15 at 4pm at Cottrell Park Golf Club, where children will be able to go along and learn about exotic animals in a ‘Walk on the Wild Side’.
Lengths for Life is a fundraising group set up by staff at the centre, along with passionate fundraisers, that ensures the people of the Vale have the best treatment possible if they are diagnosed with the disease.
It is one of their core fundraising events of 2012, and they hope that as many people as possible will turn up to support the work of the centre’s staff.
Justina Simpson is one of the founding members of Lengths for Life, and she spoke to The GEM about the charity.
She said: “Lengths for Life is a major fundraising drive which is in its second year. It is absolutely crucial for the treatment and service of cancer patients at Llandough Hospital Breast Centre.
“There is so much we need to buy for the care and comfort of the patients. We also want to push the people on the front lines in to the media eye, the nurses and the patients.”
‘Walk on the Wild Side’ is a great opportunity to boost their funds, and it is set to be a fun day out for all, as Ms Simpson explained: “We want to educate children and give them a fun day out.
We’ve got lots of wild animals like geckos and pythons along the route for them to say hello to.”
Sarah Edwards is an employee at the golf club, and also works at the Breast Centre in Llandough. She added that the walk would provide a fun day out for families.
She told The GEM: “As part of the fundraising group, and as a mum of two, I suggested the Breast Centre organise an event that would be hugely fun for the whole family, but also really educational.
“Children and parents will be wowed by the breathtaking scenery, but what’s even more special is the wild and wonderful creatures they will encounter on their walk.
“From geckos and lizards to snakes and meerkats, this really is a walk on the wild side.”
Golf club member Louise Case knows more than most how vital the care the Breast Centre provides is. She told The GEM about her struggle fighting the disease.
She said: “As a fairly fit and healthy golfer, I was shocked to discover a lump in my breast.
“Initially, I had several appointments over several weeks at the University Hospital outpatients department for a mammogram, biopsy and scanning before the diagnosis was finally confirmed. It was breast cancer, my worst fear!
“Once the diagnosis was formally confirmed, I attended Llandough Hospital for a scan. Mr Moneypenny, a breast consultant, intended to remove the sentinel lymph glands as a slightly less invasive procedure than removing them all completely.
“I then stepped onto the rollercoaster of two lots of surgery in October and November 2009 at Llandough Hospital, then followed 18 months of chemotherapy and Herceptin at Velindre Hospital.
“The opening of the new dedicated unit at Llandough is without doubt a step in the right direction, and avoids the inconsistency of going between two hospitals. The new unit is a one-stop shop, which negates the need for appointments over several weeks for mammograms, scans etc.
“Having these procedures in one day avoids weeks of anguish and worry.
“Although the diagnosis of breast cancer is a devastating blow, I believe that the more personal touch of a dedicated unit helps. For me it was comforting to be able to walk through those doors and to know that everyone else there at least understood in some way how I was feeling.”
She also backed the event, adding: “After talking with Sarah Edwards, we agreed that Cottrell Park nature trail would be a most excellent venue to host the ‘Lengths for Life’ fundraising walk.
“To that end, I would ask anyone young or old to please come and give your support and walk the full 4km, or just as much as you can manage, in aid of the breast unit.
“Although the unit is up and running, more money is needed for equipment and to assist with opening a dedicated teaching facility.”
Anyone can raise money for Lengths for Life through any means available, and the charity will be there to support you.
“We set people their own challenge, whether they want to walk, run or have a charity rugby match,” Ms Simpson added.
“We then help them with sponsor packs that include things like posters and sponsorship forms.
“We appreciate there is a tough economic climate currently and that is why we appreciate everything you can raise. We don’t expect you to raise a fortune! Even if it is just £10 or £20.
“Our core message is ‘what lengths would you go to to help people in The Vale with breast cancer?’ We want everyone to go extra lengths to raise money.”
Another major factor of the charity is that those involved with the day-to-day treatment of cancer patients at the Breast Centre are also involved in the fundraising efforts.
“We’ve only got a small team, but everyone is hands on,” continued Ms Simpson. “The doctors and surgeons are at these events collecting and the nurses do the same.
“That’s why I’m so passionate. These people are there when you find out you are ill and despite being so busy they give up their spare time to collect.
“Mr Sumit Goyal is the lead clinician at Llandough. The Breast Centre is his baby. He shouldn’t have to do this but he does. He deserves so much credit!”
She concluded by stressing the importance of raising money for the local care centre, where anyone in the Vale who falls ill would receive treatment.
“People often fundraise for the big household names, but what they don’t realise is the money doesn’t stay in Wales,” she added.
“That’s what we need to hammer home. If their relatives fall ill, they will get all their treatment at Llandough, so we want the money to stay in the Vale and go to helping local people.
“If all the people who ran for the big charities ran for us, we’d be one of the top centres in the UK.”
If you want to take part in the ‘Walk on the Wild Side’, register at: www.lengthsforlife.co, or call Sarah on 07790 319 001.
All content © of Glamorgan Gem Ltd unless stated otherwise.
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