4 March 2021
Ann Leigh, 75, from Holt, has terminal cancer, but has hailed Hope for Tomorrow’s Mobile Cancer Units in Norfolk as ‘transformational’ as she undergoes regular cancer treatment during the COVID pandemic.
Ann needs to receive cancer treatment as part of her routine for the rest of her life. Recently she started using the Mobile Cancer Units that are provided by charity Hope for Tomorrow, having been advised by an NHS nurse that it might improve her experience, and she says the difference to her life has been amazing.
Ann says: ‘I have been shielding for over a year now, and had to undertake a 50 mile journey each time I needed treatment. At the time of the COVID variant, and as an at-risk, clinically vulnerable person, it was frightening going into the hospital and seeing warning signs everywhere.
‘This was a real ordeal for me as it took such a long time with travel, parking and waiting for my appointment. I would have to muster energy just to attend the appointment and it was terribly draining, along with the treatment itself.’
Ann was told about Hope for Tomorrow’s Mobile Cancer Units and from there her life and treatment experiences have transformed. Hope for Tomorrow brings cancer care closer to patients. The charity’s mission is to make a difference to the way that patients’ treatment is delivered. The convenient mobile cancer care units help patients to fit their treatment in to their lives, not the other way round.
Tina Seymour, Chief Executive of Hope for Tomorrow, explains: ‘We bring our fleet of Mobile Cancer Care Units (MCCUs) into the heart of communities, and by working closely with NHS Trusts throughout the country, we work together to help as many people as possible.
‘We rely entirely on donations and fundraising, as we get no statutory funding, to make this possible for cancer patients who need treatment closer to home; which is so important, especially during the COVID pandemic.
‘The COVID situation has been so difficult for cancer patients, however we are able to offer them a safe and convenient sanctuary to keep receiving their treatment. Coming to our mobile units is the only time many of them have been able to leave their homes. The patients can be supported as a key, vulnerable group, and equally we can support the NHS when they are pushed to capacity.’
Ann says she never expected to get treatment in her 70s, but is so glad that she has.
She adds: ‘I am so glad that I found out about Hope for Tomorrow; it really has transformed my life. There are so many benefits – the convenience, easy parking, and a lovely team. The staff are so personable and courteous, and the units are delightful.
‘I am now actually elated to go for treatment as I can be back home within the hour because of the 7 mile journey. It’s made a huge difference to my day. Hope for Tomorrow really has changed my life and attitude to treatment because I now have no additional fatigue and no stress.
‘I am living my best life, watching YouTube and history channels, and I also do voluntary work rehoming dogs. Despite the cancer and side effects, this is definitely my best decade.’ Patients who are undergoing cancer treatment can find their nearest mobile cancer unit here