Clitheroe family fights back against cancer with charity football match
A family from Clitheroe had a very personal reason to raise funds for a local cancer charity - as thanks for giving a dad a second chance of life.
Sixty-year-old Terry Braithwaite was diagnosed with lymphoma of the lung in December 2019 and started treatment just two days before Christmas.
Now in remission, Terry appreciates his second chance and said he wants to give something back to his local NHS hospitals Trust.
As such, with wife Jane, he organised a charity football match to raise money for ELHT&Me, the official charity of East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust.
Terry, chairman of Rimington FC, rounded up a veterans team to play against a team of Hanson employees which saw Rimington Veterans win 6-2.
“The staff on the chemotherapy unit at Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital are brilliant and one of the reasons we did the fund-raising,” said Terry.
“On my way to the unit, I would always stop at the shop and deliver goods to the staff but I wanted to give something more.
"The money raised came from the overwhelming community spirit and Hanson’s employee charity matching, and through personal motivation the target was met. I would also like to thank Marie Cossins, Dine Catering, Rimington Recreation Association, Rimington Football Club and Hanson Cement.
Terry’s daughter Lucy said: “As a nurse you have empathy for all patients and relatives but when it was my dad going through investigations and receiving his diagnosis my heart broke thinking my dad, my hero had to go through chemotherapy. But he’s amazingly strong and with our strong family bond we got through it as a family.
“The chemo unit and all involved is a fantastic team and made me, my family and more importantly my dad feel so at ease through all his appointments and treatments, and I am eternally grateful for that. The donation has gone to a fabulous cause. I am proud to work for East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust.”
Jane Braithwaite said “As Terry's wife it was such a worrying time for the whole family and myself. This is where the staff and the chemo unit came in. From start to finish they were fantastic and explained everything and allayed any fears we had.
“The care they gave Terry was second to none and extended that care to our whole family - answering any questions and always welcoming us with a smile and positivity.
"I was and always will be grateful for their wonderful care and support and hope people continue to be as generous as they can with their donations to improve what already is an amazing service/unit. They absolutely deserve it.”
Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital’s chemotherapy unit launched an appeal in August to raise £30,000 to undergo a complete refurbishment. The funds raised from the charity football match will go towards the refurbishment and the chemotherapy unit team are beyond grateful for the donation.