As 2016 gets underway, a local fundraiser wants to issue a message of thanks to all who raised funds across the city for Macmillan Cancer Support last year, with more than £335,000 raised by residents.
Kaeti Morrison, Macmillan Fundraising Manager for Bath said: “With your help, in 2015 Macmillan was able to commit £335,516 in the city alone, helping to support people living with or beyond cancer locally.
“That means there are now around 33 Macmillan professionals working across Bath.
“I just want to say a personal thank you to everyone who hosted or attended coffee mornings, volunteered their time, braved the shave, or helped to raise money in their chosen way. I’d also like to thank everyone who is running in this year’s Bath Half Marathon on 13th March for Macmillan, where we are the lead charity.
“We have a record number of runners and will have a number of volunteers out on the course cheering on Team Macmillan. We’d love to meet you all at the runners village.”
Laura Clifford, a Macmillan clinical nurse specialist at Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust is one of the latest additions to the local Macmillan team.
Laura said: “I’ve been brought in to expand a small, busy team, providing support to an increasing number of people affected by head and neck cancers.
“Working closely with my two colleagues, we are hoping to develop a follow-up programme to help patients during and after treatment.
“Head and neck patients can experience physical changes which means their lives are quite altered and they have complex needs – for example their speech, swallowing, eating, talking and communicating can be affected.
“This means that even post-cancer people do require a lot of support. We are looking to help with things like symptom management, advice on lifestyle, nutrition & counselling.
“Day to day it’s a real mix – in one day alone I was speaking to a lady who had just been diagnosed, as well as consulting with surgeons and oncologists to help a patient make decisions about his treatment choices, speaking to people mid way through their radiotherapy, and offering support to families; one gentleman on the ward was now palliative so we were supporting him and his wife.
“It’s also about educating the nursing staff in hospitals or in nursing homes about support patients with a tracheotomy, and even helping family members and carers so they can effectively support their loved one at home.
“I’ve worked in head and neck since I qualified about six years ago and I love being able to support patients right from the point of diagnosis and throughout their journey.
“Taking on a Macmillan nurse role is a privilege, but with it comes responsibility; I want to be the best I can be so that all patients receive a good experience, and maybe one day they or their families might feel like they would like to support the charity to help fund posts like mine in future.”
Fundraiser Kaeti concluded: “Macmillan’s ambition is to reach and improve the lives of everyone living with cancer. By 2030, the number of people living with the disease will have doubled, so it’s a huge task to support each and every one of those in some way.
“With the support of local fundraisers and volunteers, we can keep supporting services like Laura’s, and team up with partners like the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Trust to provide the best cancer care possible here in your community.
“With your help, we can make sure no one in Bath has to face cancer alone.”
If you’re interested in holding or attending a fundraising event, getting involved with a fundraising group or committee, or would like to choose Macmillan as your charity of the year, please contact Kaeti on 07801 307063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.