Cancer patient’s family thank life-saving unit

(left to right): Healthcare assistant Joanne Thomson, Jackie Pybus, Irene Watson, chemotherapy nurse Rosie Livingston and staff nurse Julie Defty.
(left to right): Healthcare assistant Joanne Thomson, Jackie Pybus, Irene Watson, chemotherapy nurse Rosie Livingston and staff nurse Julie Defty.

FRIENDS and family of cancer patient Irene Watson have raised £2,000 as a thank you to Hartlepool’s chemotherapy unit which she says saved her life.

Irene has been treated at the unit at the University Hospital of Hartlepool since first being diagnosed with colon cancer more than two years ago.

She had an operation to remove a tumour and several cycles of chemotherapy treatment, but later another tumour near Irene’s heart was found.

The tumour was inoperable but has been successfully treated with more chemotherapy as well as treatments of the drug Avastin.

Irene’s husband Gerry and his colleagues at Adept ­Precision Engineering, in Hartlepool, raised £2,000 for the unit by putting on a ­charity night at The ­Staincliffe hotel.

Irene, from Greatham, visited the unit to thank staff for their care and to present the cheque.

She said: “The care I have received in this unit has been absolutely fantastic.

“The treatment I have had has helped shrink the size of the tumour.

“I still have ­regular ­appointments at the unit 
for treatments of Avastin for this.

“This is the only way I and my friends and family know how to thank the staff here for the care I have had and give something back for the help I have had.

“These lovely people in this unit have saved my life.”

Irene thanked everyone ­involved in raising the ­money.

“I’d like to thank my husband and his work colleagues and business partners of the company for all of their help raising the money.

Adept Precision Engineering sponsors the Adept cycle racing team.

And Irene especially thanked cyclist Shaun ­Tyson, his wife Nicola and other members of the team for their contributions.

“It was very thoughtful and a fantastic gesture,” she said.

The charity night, which included live music and an auction and raffle, helped raise £4,000 which was split between the chemo unit and Cancer Research UK.

Chemotherapy nurse Rosie Livingston said: “We would like to thank everyone who helped Irene raise the money for the unit.

“This will go towards helping the patients we care for in the unit.”