Former Hitchin cancer patient appeals for volunteers to raise money for Lister cancer unit

16:04 07 August 2013

Jimmy Dawson and Christa Dawson at home

Jimmy Dawson and Christa Dawson at home

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A FORMER cancer patient is appealing for public support to help raise £1.5 million for a new cancer centre at Lister Hospital.

Hitchin resident Jimmy Dawson, who was successfully treated for bowel cancer at the Stevenage hospital, is now chairman of the Stevenage and District Committee of Macmillan Cancer Support.

The 66-year-old is appealing for volunteers to join the committee to help step-up fundraising, following the announcement of plans for the £3 million Lister Macmillan Cancer Centre.

Half will be funded by the Government, but Macmillan must raise the remainder.

“Lister Hospital saved my life and this new centre is a wonderful development for local people who will be enormously fortunate to have this facility,” said Mr Dawson.

“As a committee we have raised hundreds of thousands of pounds over the years, but we often find ourselves short of people who will join us in our official street collections.

“The commitment is never more than a couple of hours at a time, but it is a couple of hours that can make a world of difference for people affected by cancer, their families and carers.”

Twenty years ago, Mr Dawson worked in London. Then, quite suddenly, the problem he had thought was piles turned out to be bowel cancer.

He was admitted to Lister Hospital for treatment and was supported by a Macmillan nurse.

“It was such a shock to me and my wife Christa. Our lives were turned upside down,” he said.

“I had to leave work as it was quite impossible to continue. I was so weak and was just a skeleton.”

It was then that Mr and Mrs Dawson joined the Stevenage and District Committee of Macmillan Cancer Support, wanting to give something back to the people who’d helped them during their darkest hours.

“Our relatives live hundreds of miles away, so when I got the diagnosis there was no one close to support us. The Macmillan nurse was precious to us. We were very fortunate,” said Mr Dawson.

The Lister Macmillan Cancer Centre, due to open in 2014, will almost double the Lister’s chemotherapy capacity, dramatically reduce the cramped conditions for patients and staff, create a dedicated information and support centre for patients and families, and develop two gardens for patients undergoing treatment.

To volunteer as a collector for the Stevenage and District Committee of Macmillan Cancer Support, contact Mr Dawson on 01462 456210.

You can donate at www.macmillan.org.uk/lister or send a cheque to Lister Macmillan Cancer Centre Appeal, c/o Supporter Donations Macmillan Cancer Support, FREEPOST LON1585, 89 Albert Embankment London, SE1 7UQ.

To get involved in fundraising call the Fundraising Support Centre on 0300 1000 200 or email fundraising@macmillan.org.uk

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