Back in March of this year I wrote the first of five blog posts about The Christie Hospital and my involvement with this brilliant research and treatment centre in Withington, South Manchester. I have been a patient for many years (mostly on an outpatient-only basis) and visit the hospital once a year for a check-up.
I am fortunate in that (1) I do not have cancer and (2) I have a car so do not have to rely on public transport to travel from my home in Langworthy, Salford to Withington for my appointments. That said, it’s still a fair distance and it’s hardly a short journey by car – I can only imagine how difficult it must be for those in any kind of pain to have no choice but to travel the distance by public transport. I shudder to think what a taxi fare from Salford to Withington and back would be.
That’s why I am wholeheartedly supporting The Salford Advertiser’s £250,000 Christie Challenge with the aim of raising £250,000 towards a new £17 million satellite radiotherapy centre at Salford Royal.
The unit will be staffed by Christie cancer experts who will provide radiotherapy treatment to 1,200 people every year who would otherwise have to travel to The Christie from Salford and surrounding areas.
Building work is due to begin at the end of 2009, and they are hoping to open its doors to the first patients in 2011. The centre will have two radiotherapy machines which will be used to give radiotherapy treatment to 70 patients every day.
One of the machines will cost £1.3 million; the other machine will be able to deliver Stereotactic radiosurgery, a highly specialised treatment for conditions such as brain tumours. This machine will cost £2.5 million, and is one of only a handful in the country. Currently Christie patients have to travel to Sheffield to receive this treatment.
As The Advertiser points out The Christie relies on fundraising and donations to deliver their fantastic service and that’s why I’m repeating the appeal from Advertiser Editor Simon Keegan and calling on everyone to back the campaign and donate to the fund.
Donating is really easy, you can call 0161 446 3988 (be sure to mention you are donating in response to the Salford Advertiser appeal) or send a cheque to: Salford Advertiser, Appeals office, The Christie, Wilmslow Road, Manchester M20 4BX. Alternatively, you can pop any spare coins you might have into the collection buckets at The Christie Hospital (main entrance) or in any of the collection tins found dotted around chemists, post offices, newsagents etc.
Finally, by far the easiest way to donate is to do so online at: http://www.christies.org/salford
So come on Salford – dig deep and let’s equip our city with a world-class treatment centre. Hopefully none of us will ever need it, but just imagine how life could be different for those that do.