Couple walking 10k at Walk for Wards to thank hospital staff after cancer diagnosis

A Salisbury couple want to raise “as much as they can” for Salisbury Hospital’s Pembroke Cancer Unit who have been supporting them through a “difficult time”.

Stephen Burke’s fiancée Vicky Schrader was diagnosed with terminal cancer and is currently being treated at Salisbury Hospital’s Pembroke Suite.

They are taking part in Walk for Wards on Sunday, July 9 at Wilton House, and will be doing the 10k route.

Stephen says: “The staff have all been so great at helping us get through this difficult time. We signed up for Walk for Wards as we felt we wanted to give something back to Salisbury Hospital, specifically the Pembroke Suite, as a thank you for all the help and support they have given my fiancée and myself, and the tireless work they do there for so many people.”

Vicky was diagnosed with bowel cancer in October 2022, which had spread to her lungs. After three months of chemotherapy, Stephen, 41, says that Vicky’s cancer had “progressed quite rapidly” but she went onto a new chemo regime, which is “working better for her”.

Stephen says: “When we were told the diagnosis and prognosis, it was a massive shock and we went through all the things I would imagine everybody goes through in the first few weeks. Why Vicky, it’s so unfair. Now we are just trying to enjoy every day and look forward to making as many memories as we can while fighting the cancer. It’s still very difficult, sometimes out of nowhere, thoughts pop into your head but you have to just carry on. The Pembroke Unit has been a great help with that, especially for Vicky.”

Vicky, 47, has benefitted from the free aromatherapy service and refreshments when she’s been having her chemotherapy treatment at the Hospital.

Donations to the Stars Appeal go towards projects supporting cancer patients which include free drinks for chemotherapy and oncology patients, aromatherapy, free headwear for patients who lose their hair, along with dedicated swimming sessions in the Hospital’s pool and wellbeing programmes.

We also fund enhancements to the Pembroke Unit’s furnishings and décor, as well as the provision additional medical equipment.

Vicky says: “I found the aromatherapy so soothing and relaxing. It was just so wonderful to have something like that available. It is great to know that if I need a hot or cold drinks, it is always available. It takes a load off my mind as I never remember to take any drinks with me and it can be quite a long day having chemo.”

We also fund enhancements to the Pembroke Unit’s furnishings and décor, as well as the provision additional medical equipment.

Find out more about how your donations support patients with cancer at Salisbury District Hospital. The Stars Appeal

You can also read Charles’ story about how the Stars Appeal has supported him during his treatment for leukaemia.

The Stars Appeal is the charity for Salisbury District Hospital. Every day, work funded by the charity helps hundreds of patients at Salisbury District Hospital and supports the NHS staff who care for them.

We aim to raise over £1million each year to fund projects which offer direct, practical support to patients, their families, and the Hospital’s staff.

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