Evesham charity offers cancer patients free breaks in the Cotswolds

Tewkesbury Admag: (Back L-R) Worcestershire Royal Hospital matron Glenis Adams, specialist nurse practitioner Pete James, care support worker Andy Wilce and clinical nurse specialist Tom Rees. (Front L-R) Sue Sollis with Antony Fessey, his son Oliver and wife Donna. (Back L-R) Worcestershire Royal Hospital matron Glenis Adams, specialist nurse practitioner Pete James, care support worker Andy Wilce and clinical nurse specialist Tom Rees. (Front L-R) Sue Sollis with Antony Fessey, his son Oliver and wife Donna.

CANCER patients in Worcestershire are being given the chance to enjoy a peaceful weekend away in the countryside thanks to an Evesham charity.

Patients on Worcestershire Royal Hospital's haematology ward – Laurel three – are being offered short breaks at the Farncombe estate near Broadway to relax and unwind by the Tracy Sollis Leukaemia Trust.

The charity was set up in memory of Tracy Sollis, who died of the disease in 1995, and supports people suffering from leukaemia.

Antony Fessey from Worcester, who was diagnosed with the condition last year after discovering a number of bruises on his body, is one of the patients benefitting from the charity’s generous offer.

“Things moved pretty quickly from when I first went to my GP,” he said. “I took a few weeks off work to get over the initial shock of my diagnosis.

“Luckily the medication I am on is working for me, allowing me to carry on with my life.

“I’m back at work now and keeping positive about my condition.”

The 40-year-old added he was extremely grateful to hospital staff for their friendliness and helpfulness throughout his treatment.

“They’ve really helped me understand and manage my leukaemia,” he said.

“Hopefully I’m on the mend now.

“This weekend away will be so good for me and my family.

“It gives us all something to look forward too, which is so important.”

More than 8,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with leukaemia – cancer of the white blood cells – every year.

Tracy Sollis’ mother Sue, who founded the charity in her daughter’s memory, said she was pleased she was able to carry on her passion for helping others.

“She’s my inspiration for everything we have done as a charity,” she said.

“Thanks to the support and donations we receive, we are able to help so many others with their treatment and care.”

Specialist nurse practitioner with Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust Pete James said he was delighted by how much support he and his colleagues had been offered by the charity.

“These breaks are close enough for our patients to travel too,” he said.

“I’ve known many patients who have had to cancel holidays away because they were so dependent on blood transfusions that they couldn’t get away for more than a few days.”

For more information on the Tracy Sollis Leukaemia Trust call 01386 421 424 or visit www.tracysollistrust.org.

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