Team GB Paralympic star thanks St Bartholomew's for Gran's cancer care

15 Aug 2018

Team GB Paralympic champion swimmer Amy Marren has raised over £6,000 for the Cancer Unit at St Bartholomew’s Hospital after taking on this year’s London Marathon.

Amy’s Grandmother Irene was treated at the hospital over the course of 30 years but sadly passed away earlier this year. Amy fundraised to say thank you to the staff for their wonderful care and help them to provide for other patients being treated for cancer. 

Along with her family, Amy visited Dr Sarah Slater (Consultant Medical Oncologist) and Alison Thompson (Senior Nurse, Cancer Inpatients) earlier this month to present the cheque and reminisce about the charismatic Irene.

In Amy’s words…

Back in 1997 when my Mum found out she was pregnant with me, she was actually visiting my Nan who was an inpatient on the cancer ward at St Bartholomew’s Hospital. Finding out my mum was pregnant really perked my Nan up, and gave her reason to get better and get home.

Nan was diagnosed with her first cancer 30 years ago, she went through copious amounts of surgery, and still came through. However, three years ago Nan wasn't too well and back at St Bartholomew’s they discovered the cancer was back and had spread to the lymph nodes and liver, and she was to undergo chemotherapy. It was all designed as a palliative plan, the cancer wasn't curable or operable, but it was controllable.

Having never been on an oncology ward I wasn't sure what to expect, but what I did see was care, compassion, and above all, treatment that was excellent. Now I know why so many people come to St Bartholomew’s for their treatment. The staff really are unsung heroes, they made my Nan's time in their care enjoyable and it gave her a sense of comfort knowing that she was surrounded by such a huge team of dedicated professionals. They became like family in my Nan's last few months and I know that she was always so grateful to see a team of smiling nurses, doctors and cleaning staff willing to help her. 

It was in here that I found out about Barts Charity and the work they do, not only for the patients but also for the families concerned. I made a decision that given the chance I would run the London Marathon to help raise funds for the hospital.

The marathon was an incredible experience, without a doubt that hardest thing that I have done. To keep myself going, I reminded myself who I was doing it for...my Nanny and all of the other amazing patients at Barts. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to run for something extra special- I will be forever grateful. It’s important to remember that for those fighting illness, every day is a Marathon, and I hope that this is only the beginning of my fundraising journey for Barts. 

My beautiful Nanny closed her eyes, and was reunited with my Grandad on 19th January 2018. After a long battle, my Nanny decided to gain her angel wings.

 

We'd like to say a huge thank you to Amy and her family for their support. 

 

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