Bentham gran’s fight against blood cancer

Anne Duncan seated centre in the front row with sister/clinical leader Linda Whitfield (left) and clinical support worker Carol Moore. On the back row, from left is unit manager/lead cancer nurse Sue Procter, sister/unit manager Lyn Lawrenson and sister/clinical leader Janet Rigg.
Anne Duncan seated centre in the front row with sister/clinical leader Linda Whitfield (left) and clinical support worker Carol Moore. On the back row, from left is unit manager/lead cancer nurse Sue Procter, sister/unit manager Lyn Lawrenson and sister/clinical leader Janet Rigg.

The generosity of Bentham people proved the icing on the cake for one retired farmer who raised money for a Lancaster hospital.

Anne Duncan decided to hold a coffee morning to raise money for the oncology unit at Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

The gran-of-six has a special place in her heart for the hospital and wanted to thank staff for their care and support.

Every 20 minutes, someone in the UK is told they have a blood cancer – 70 people a day, 25,000 people a year, Anne is one of them.

Anne, who lives in Lane Foot, High Bentham, with husband Ken, has a form of blood cancer and has been a regular patient at the unit for almost 10 years.

Having decided she wanted to give something back, Anne put up posters, sent out invitations and began spreading the word about the event.

However, she was overwhelmed by number of people who turned up at Bentham Methodist Church to support her.

“It was amazing,” said Anne.

“I couldn’t believe the number of people who brought cakes and other items to sell as we had a book stall and nearly new stall.

“We opened the doors from 10am to 11.30am and we made £1,019 for the unit, which grew to £1,200. People were so kind and generous.”

Anne, who worships at the church and is also a member of Hornby Flower Club, went to the unit to present the money to staff with a cheque made out to Bay Hospitals Charity.

The charity works to fundraise for medical equipment and ward improvements to make patient stays and treatment more comfortable at the five hospitals that come under the management of Morecambe Bay University Hospitals Foundation Trust.

Money is used to fund additional medical equipment, medical research, specialist training and service improvements.

Anne is mum to Roger, Allan and Elizabeth and gran to two sets of twins, Bethany and Leah (16) and William and Marcus (11), and five-year-old Jessica and six-month-old Rhys.

“I have had tremendous support from the oncology unit and its staff as well as my family and the community. In that respect, I feel very blessed,” added Anne. Blood cancer is an umbrella term for cancers that affect the blood, bone marrow and lymphatic system.