Cancer boss stepping out to raise £1.5m for foundation that has helped thousands

Sue Thompson, head of the Rosemere Cancer Foundation, during preparations for her 140 mile sponsored walk with consultant oncologist Dr Gerry Skailes,
Sue Thompson, head of the Rosemere Cancer Foundation, during preparations for her 140 mile sponsored walk with consultant oncologist Dr Gerry Skailes,

A head of a specialist cancer treatment foundation is taking a challenge to raise £1.5m to celebrate its 20th anniversary in her stride, literally.

Sue Thompson, who has been at the helm of the Rosemere Cancer Foundation since its launch, today set off on a 140 mile sponsored walk to raise money for the appeal.

Her journey began at Barrow in Furness General Hospital and, if all goes to plan, will end next Wednesday ( August 23rd) when she reaches

Burnley General Hospital.

Along the way Sue is planning to make stops at Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal, the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, Blackpool Victoria Hospital,

the Royal Preston Hospital, Chorley and South Ribble Hospital and the Royal Blackburn Hospital.

She will walk for up to nine hours a day to complete the trek’s longest stages, which are between 24 and 26 miles and she will also have to tackle terrain that ranges from Lakeland fells to moorland and coastal footpaths as she spans the whole of South Cumbria and Lancashire – Rosemere Cancer Foundation’s heartland and the region served by the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust centre, which is based at the Royal Preston Hospital, from where it provides all the territory’s radiotherapy amongst other specialist cancer treatment.

Sue said: “Through Rosemere Cancer Foundation, it’s been my privilege to support our regional cancer centre since it opened 20 years ago as the centre and charity launched together.

"Rosemere Cancer Foundation also funds projects at the other eight hospitals in Lancashire and South Cumbria that provide local cancer treatment, which is why my walk visits each of them.

“Over the years, my job has brought me into contact with health professionals doing the most wonderful work and with members of the public, many former cancer patients, who have left me humbled by their efforts to raise money for

Rosemere Cancer Foundation.

"Their combined spirited drive to help those affected by cancer unites the region.

"In this special anniversary year, to respond with my own challenge is the least I can do although right now, I must

admit, the prospect of it feels a bit daunting!”

Along the way, Sue will have a variety of walking partners to spur her on. Joining her today is Neil Townsend, chief executive of

CancerCare, a South Lakes and North Lancashire Charity that provides support for cancer patients and their families during and beyond treatment.

CancerCare receives funding from Rosemere Cancer Foundation to provide complementary healthcare such as aromatherapy massage to newly

diagnosed cancer patients in the South Lakes/North Lancashire area to help them cope with the side-effects of their treatment and to re-build their self -

confidence.

On day three as she walks the 24 miles from Westmorland General Hospital to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, Sue will have Consultant Oncologist Dr

Gerry Skailes, who is based at Rosemere Cancer Centre, by her side. Dr Skailes will then stay with her to the end of the trek.

On their final day, former patient and charity campaigner Bill Honeywell, of Clitheroe, will see them to the Burnley finish line.

Rosemere Cancer Foundation’s 20 Years Anniversary Appeal is funding the latest in robotic surgical systems for Rosemere Cancer Centre, a state-of- the-art research facility there and the refurbishment of its in-patient ward. To sponsor Sue for the appeal, go to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SueThompson14

To follow Sue on her walk and for further information on the appeal projects, Rosemere Cancer Centre and Rosemere Cancer Foundation, visit

www.rosemere.org.uk.