Brian backs cancer fight

Brian Hedley
Brian Hedley

A CANCER patient from Morpeth has given something back to the charity that has supported him after a family member got his fund-raising down to a tee.

Staff from Lifespan Complementary helped Brian Hedley, 57, throughout his treatment for bowel cancer, which was diagnosed last year.

He received counselling, nutritional advice and complementary therapies, such as massage, aromatherapy and reflexology, as he battled against the illness.

The Shadfen resident, who was born and bred in Morpeth, has finished his last cycle of chemotherapy for the moment and will find out around Christmas time if he is in remission.

After telling his family about the support he has received, his nephew Paul, who lives and works in the United Arab Emirates, decided to raise money for the charity.

The former member of Morpeth Golf Club is a teaching golf professional in Abu Dhabi and he convinced his employer to allow him to do a coach-a-thon at the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club. He collected an impressive total of £1,000.

Brian said: “The doctors and staff at the Wansbeck General Hospital oncology unit were fantastic with me and at one of my early appointments I saw a leaflet for Lifespan. I’m so glad I got in touch because its staff have helped to get me through what has been a really horrendous and challenging year.

“You can go along to its centre near Corbridge or they will come out and see you. There is no limit as to how often you can see them, or for how long, and talking through what really mattered to me was vitally important.

“They have empathy and compassion coupled with a clear idea of the help and support people with life-threatening illnesses need.

“I’ve told everyone I know about how wonderful the charity is and Paul decided to do the coach-a-thon off his own bat.

“It was an excellent idea to use his golf coaching skills for a fundraising event and I’m delighted with the amount he has raised. He was a little star.”

Mr Hedley, who is the Assistant Director of Education for the Dioceses of Newcastle and Durham, recently attended Lifespan’s main annual fund-raising event, an art auction at The Biscuit Factory in Newcastle.

Works by Jeff Rowland, Alexander Millar, Sun Fenlon, Keith Proctor and Ian Greensitt were available, as were some limited edition prints by the late Beryl Cook and a Rowlandson cartoon donated by author and former politician Jeffrey Archer.

A total of £19,000 was donated on the night, although other smaller activities regularly take place and grant applications are submitted to try to meet yearly running costs of about £150,000.