Last week, local hospital charity Leeds Cares launched their new fundraising initiative, ‘Leeds Cares Hospital Heroes’ encouraging supporters to carry out long-term fundraising to support their local NHS hospitals.
28-year-old Lucy Guiry and her friend Kerry Yeo have been named one of the charities first ‘Hospital Heroes’ after pledging to take on as many fundraising challenges as possible in 2020 to raise funds for Leeds Cares.
In January 2013, Lucy was diagnosed with malignant melanoma after a mole on her thigh began to grow and change in appearance. Lucy was transferred to St James’s Hospital in Leeds, where she was told the mole was cancerous and had begun to spread to her lymph nodes. Thankfully, Lucy was able to have an operation to remove the cancer and did not need any further treatment.
Unfortunately, that was just the start of Lucy’s journey after her cancer continued to return in the same place over the next six years. Whilst still undergoing her immunotherapy treatment, in January 2018 Lucy discovered that she was pregnant but was worried that it might not be safe for her to have the baby.
Lucy says: “I was so relieved when the doctors told me that everything was ok, and I could go ahead with the pregnancy. We were so blessed to welcome Eadie, our ‘miracle’, into our lives in August 2018.”
Following this, Lucy had two more significant recurrences of melanoma and in October 2019 doctors warned her that it may be difficult to operate again if her cancer reoccurred.
Devastatingly, in April 2020 Lucy discovered she had a lump on her shoulder and scans revealed that her cancer had returned not only to her leg but also to her shoulder, liver, pancreas, and pelvic lymph nodes.
Lucy said: “When the cancer came back in the same place it never felt like a major setback, we remained positive. When I discovered it had spread this year and was stage four, it felt out of my control. It’s even scarier because I have Eadie now, she’s only two so she doesn’t understand that mummy is poorly.”
Throughout this year, Lucy and Kerry have done whatever they can to fundraise, including virtual bingo, an eight-hour tennis marathon, ‘Pantry in the Porch’, an Ullswater Cross lake swim and the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge!
One of Lucy’s close friends, Debbie, also ran over 237 miles over 40 days to add vital donations to the fund.
Thanks to their dedication to fundraising, despite the coronavirus outbreak, Lucy and Kerry have so far raised more than £10,000 to support NHS staff, patients, and families at Leeds Teaching Hospitals.
Lucy says that fundraising has given her and her friends and family, something positive to focus on, “Fundraising is a really positive coping strategy for me, Kerry and I have put all our energy into it, driven by the knowledge that the money we raise will benefit patients like me.”
Paul Watkins, Director of Fundraising at Leeds Cares said:
“We’re really excited to be launching our new fundraising initiative ‘Hospital Heroes’, these supporters will make a real difference to staff, patients, and families at our local NHS hospitals. Everyone at Leeds Cares is so grateful to Hospital Heroes like Lucy who have made a pledge to raise £1,000 or more for Leeds Cares.”
Leeds Cares is the charity for Leeds Teaching Hospitals. We support NHS staff to deliver the best care for patients and their families, by raising funds for equipment, services, education and research. Leeds Cares provides support for eight areas which include Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds Children’s Hospital, Leeds Cancer Centre, St James’s University Hospital, Chapel Allerton Hospital, Seacroft Hospital, Wharfdale Hospital and Leeds Dental Institute.
Leeds Cares supports NHS staff to deliver the best care for over a million patients and their families each year. Working with local communities, schools and businesses across the city and beyond, each year we provide £5 million in additional funding for Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust.
You can find out more about Leeds Cares’ new fundraising campaign ‘Hospital Heroes’ and how to get involved here www.leeds-cares.org
For more information please contact Joanna Parker PR and Digital Assistant at Leeds Cares, on 0113 360 9067 or email email@example.com
Become a friend of Leeds Cares today and support Leeds Teaching Hospitals. Together we can make a difference, donate to support Leeds Hospitals NHS Trust www.donate.leeds-cares.org
Leeds Cares would like to say a heartfelt thank you to all our wonderful supporters as without your commitment, passion and generosity we would not be able to support Leeds Teaching Hospitals to enable the best possible health and wellbeing for all. Thank you for caring.