Our Guiding Light Appeal supporters have truly outshone themselves – we’re delighted to announce that we have reached our Appeal target! Thanks to the kindness of our supporters, we have been able to truly revolutionise radiotherapy treatment for the region.
Our Chief Officer, Dan 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.”
Our 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 the Rosemere Cancer Centre at the Royal Preston Hospital.
The centre undertakes all radiotherapy treatment 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.
Dan 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.”
The first of the SGRT equipment arrived at the 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.
The company we purchased the equipment from kindly allowed us to take delivery before the funds were completely raised. Our final payment was due later this year in September, but thanks to the kindness of our supporters, we have now been able to clear the debt early while at the same time continuing to fund a healthy number of other project commitments.
Among many other generous donations since launching the Appeal, we received £100,000 from St Anne’s based jeweller Beaverbrooks and grants of £7,500 from the Sir John Fisher Foundation and £2,000 from the Hospital Saturday Fund. Money raised from our 2022 Walk in the Dark, Cross Bay Walk and Walk the Lights in Blackpool also went towards the appeal.
We’d like to say a huge THANK YOU to all of our donors, fundraisers and volunteers for making this happen – you really have helped to revolutionise radiotherapy treatment for patients across the region.