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Cancer patient from Sudbury urges support for Hope for Tomorrow fundraising appeal after charity's income devastated by coronavirus crisis

A Sudbury resident with terminal cancer says it is vital to keep mobile chemotherapy units running for patients, after the charity operating the service reported plummeting funds since the coronavirus outbreak began.

Hope for Tomorrow, which operates 11 mobile cancer care units for NHS trusts nationwide, launched an urgent appeal for donations after it experienced an 84 per cent decline in income following the cancellation of fundraising events due to the pandemic.

Among the units operated by the charity is the ‘Frisbey’ bus, which is continuing to travel to Sudbury Community Health Centre every Thursday, despite the current crisis.

Lynsey and Ben Davies, of Sudbury, present a cheque for £2,330.63 to the Hope for Tomorrow Mobile Cancer Care Unit. Picture: Thomas Malina. (24758119)
Lynsey and Ben Davies, of Sudbury, present a cheque for £2,330.63 to the Hope for Tomorrow Mobile Cancer Care Unit. Picture: Thomas Malina. (24758119)

However, it relies completely on voluntary donations in order to meet its £198 daily running cost.

Lynsey Davies, of Springfield Way, has received treatment at the unit in Sudbury since being diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2017 and, alongside her husband Ben, she raised more than £2,000 for Hope for Tomorrow last year.

She said the unit is particularly important to keep going now, as it relieves pressure on the cancer ward at West Suffolk Hospital, which has to treat fewer patients at a time to conform with social distancing.

“Personally, being able to access the bus is vital,” Lynsey told the Free Press. “The extent to which my cancer has spread across multiple areas and organs means that, if I was to catch Covid-19, the chances are I would not survive.

“However, if I stopped my chemotherapy treatment, I would also not survive for long, so knowing I can access the bus for the numerous visits each month, rather than sit in a waiting room at the hospital with several other people, means the world to me at the moment.

“They are doing a one in, one out system to assist with social distancing. Many people with cancer are currently shielding.

“It is a very worrying time, but the nurses have been brilliant with offering advice on staying safe and being very reassuring.

“As with all charities, it is struggling with the dramatic drop in fundraising activities, and who knows for how long it will be able to continue running this vital service for people like me. If people can spare anything, myself, and the charity, will be so very grateful.”

To support the Hope for Tomorrow appeal, go to www.justgiving.com/campaign/hft-urgentappeal-covid19.