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How a cancer charity has raised millions to help cancer patients

Hospice Appeal article from the Doncaster Advertiser, April 17, 1986.

Hospice Appeal article from the Doncaster Advertiser, April 17, 1986.

Since it was formed in 1972 the oldest charity in the borough has been supported by generous readers of the Doncaster Free Press.

And 42 years on the Doncaster Cancer Detection Trust is once again asking residents to rally round to help raise cash for another major project to improve cancer care at a local level. Charity champion 
Jeanette Fish, has been committed to the cause since day one and has continued to be astounded by the support from Free Press readers.

The charity stalwart, who has been awarded an MBE and the Freedom of The Borough in recognition of her work, said: “Even in tough times 
the people of Doncaster have rallied round and showed their support.

“I’ve absolutely no doubt in my mind that they can do it again, people have been very generous over the years.”

The charity was registered after it emerged Doncaster Royal Infirmary was struggling to afford a bronchoscope – a piece of kit used to allow doctors to look inside people’s lungs.

The town’s then MP, Harold Walker, was signed up as the first chairman, and around 24 keen volunteers rallied round and set about the task of raising £3,000 to buy the equipment.

Since then, the charity has gone on to donate 92 pieces of state-of-the-art medical equipment to the hospital, worth £1.8 million.

That has included the first laser outside London, and a £600,000 MRI scanner which was bought in 2012 thanks to the Doncaster Free Press Scan for Life appeal.

One of the greatest achievements of the charity was helping to build and equip Doncaster’s St John’s Hospice thanks to a further £4.6million.

Mrs Fish said: “After we bought the bronchoscope, the hospital said it needed some other things and we stuck with it.

“Everything we have done, we have done in partnership with the health authority. They have agreed to pay for the running costs, and to eventually replace the items.

“They have done that with everything but it has been the people of Doncaster who have raised the money. People have been so helpful. But I think we must be proudest of the opening of the St John’s Hospice in 1992. I think we were ahead of the game there, although Doncaster would probably have got a hospice eventually. We had starting talking to the health authority about that back in 1984.”

The details of the latest fundraising appeal, that will revolutionise cancer care in the borough, are set to be revealed in the autumn when a major campaign will kick off with a whole host of fundraising events.

Mrs Fish said: “I am full of praise for the people of Doncaster who helped raise the money over the years.”

To support the charity visit https://www.justgiving.com/doncastercancer/ or call 01302 325139 or 01302 325029.

 

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