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Guiding Light Appeal supporters reach £1.3m target

Posted on - 5th April, 2023 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Charities, Fulwood, Health, Preston News, Proud Preston, Sharoe Green
Rosemere Cancer Foundation – radiotherapy room with fitted SGRT to deliver radiotherapy treatment more accurately

Supporters of Rosemere Cancer Foundation’s silver jubilee Guiding Light Appeal have outshone themselves, according to the charity’s chief officer Dan Hill, who is now closing the appeal because it has reached its £1.3 million target.

Mr Hill said: “The response from local people has been quite overwhelming when you consider the current economic climate and cost of living crisis.

“Our supporters have really outshone themselves. We are incredibly humbled and grateful.”

Rosemere Cancer Foundation’s Guiding Light Appeal launched just last spring to fund the equipment for SGRT – Surface Guided Radiotherapy Treatment – and cover its installation costs in six out of the seven radiotherapy treatment rooms at Rosemere Cancer Centre at the Royal Preston Hospital.

Read more: Preston cancer patients benefitting from £1.3m charity funded guiding light system

Members of the radiotherapy team at Rosemere Cancer Centre say thank you for enabling the centre to be one of the first specialist cancer centres in the UK to be able to provide SGRT to its patients. From left to right are radiographers Aisling Lonergan, Saba Hameed, Louise Johnson and Beth Taylor with 1 st year radiotherapy student Samuel Chapman
Members of the radiotherapy team at Rosemere Cancer Centre say thank you for enabling the centre to be one of the first specialist cancer centres in the UK to be able to provide SGRT to its patients. From left to right are radiographers Aisling Lonergan, Saba Hameed, Louise Johnson and Beth Taylor with 1 st year radiotherapy student Samuel Chapman

The cancer centre undertakes all radiotherapy for cancer patients from throughout Lancashire and South Cumbria, treating approximately 240 patients a day, five days a week.

Clinical data supports SGRT’s use to improve radiotherapy treatment’s efficacy and experience for all radiotherapy patients but its cost means that it isn’t standard provision for the NHS and less than a quarter of the UK’s 65 specialist cancer centres are currently able to provide it.

Mr Hill explained: “Rosemere Cancer Centre is now the biggest single site SGRT centre in the whole country and joins what is still sadly a small number of just 15 specialist cancer centres able to offer SGRT, which is basically a
mapping system.

“It uses a non invasive near infra-red light to pinpoint with sub mm accuracy the optimal radiotherapy treatment area. In doing that, it helps to better position patients for their treatment, cutting down on the number of positioning scans needed and the need for permanent tattoos to act as guide marks.

“This reduces patients’ overall exposure to radiation, cutting the risk of treatment side-effects, and speeds up the process.”

Read more: Sister launches fundraiser and pays tribute to ‘sparkling ray of sunshine’ Rachel Jackson

SGRT equipment arrived at Rosemere Cancer Centre last November and was installed in the run up to Christmas with staff also undergoing training.

Since January, it has been used in the treatment of breast cancer patients with plans to now start rolling it out to other patients, starting with lung cancer patients.

Mr Hill said: “The radiotherapy team work to seven breast cancer treatment workflows and they are just starting to treat patients in the final cohort, the most complicated, before transitioning to patients with other cancers.

“The radiotherapy team has worked incredibly hard to bring SGRT to patients as quickly as possible. Our supporters have also worked incredibly hard to help us achieve our fundraising target on target.”

Read more: Preston girl named Lancashire’s Young Citizen of the Year

Mr Hill continued: “We had a deal whereby we had the equipment installed and in use while still owing money on it.

“Our final payment was due later this year in September but we have now been able to clear the debt while at the
same time continuing to fund a healthy number of other project commitments.”

To help it fund the project, Rosemere Cancer Foundation received £100,000 from St Anne’s based Beaverbrooks the Jewellers and grants of £7,500 from the Sir John Fisher Foundation and £2,000 from the Hospital Saturday Fund.

Money raised from its 2022 Walk in the Dark, Cross Bay Walk and Walk the Lights in Blackpool also went towards the appeal.

For further information on its work, including how to make a donation, visit the Rosemere Cancer Foundation website.

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