A mum who was diagnosed with breast cancer has signed up for her first Walk for Wards for the Stars Appeal to thank the ‘amazing’ staff at Salisbury District Hospital who cared for her.
Claire Parker is raising money for the Stars Appeal funded Breast Unit and has chosen to do the 10k route at Walk for Wards on Sunday, 9th July at Wilton House with her partner Lee Taylor and friend Hayley Sandell.
The 44-year-old from Bourton, Dorset, who received her cancer diagnosis in September last year at the Breast Unit, said: “The staff there were just amazing and I can’t thank them enough. They had me in quickly and went through everything step by step, I can’t fault the care.
“I wanted to do the walk to raise money for the unit so they can get any new equipment they need or enhance the unit further so it can support more people.”
The Breast Unit is the first-ever dedicated unit for breast patients at Salisbury District Hospital. It provides dedicated diagnostic equipment along with treatment and counselling rooms in a dignified environment.
It also means that diagnosis and follow-up care can be handled in one place rather than patients having to go to different departments in the hospital.
Recalling the day she received her diagnosis, Claire explained: “It was a huge shock. My first thought was my two boys, who were 16 and 15 at the time. You think the worst when you hear that word. But the consultant told me they caught it as early as they could and it was very treatable.”
She was able to get her diagnosis on the same day as having a mammogram. She says it made it easier having that in a dedicated unit. “It is nice to have it all in one place rather than having to wander around the hospital,” she explains.
She also praised the ‘lovely’ breast care nurses who were always at the end of the phone when she had any questions or was worried about anything.
“It makes a big difference. They tell you that you can ring them any time of the day for support. You get given lots of different information, which you don’t always take in at the time, but they are just at the end of the phone. That support is great,” adds Claire. “I couldn’t have done it without them.”
Claire has finished her radiotherapy treatment and is currently on medication.
She is ‘looking forward’ to taking part in the hospital charity’s flagship fundraising event this summer, which is free to enter. There are three distances to choose from – 3k, 5k and 10k – and walkers can fundraise for their chosen ward or department.
Helena Sinclair, of the Stars Appeal, said: “We’ve had fantastic support for this year’s Walk for Wards so far with nearly 250 people signed up already.
“We’d like to encourage everyone to get signed up and help us support patients like Claire by funding projects that make a real difference to patients, their families and staff at the Hospital.”
For more information about Walk for Wards visit starsappeal.org/event/walk-for-wards
Claire has set up a JustGiving page, to make a donation visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/claire-parker68