Former cancer patient raises more than £6k to mark 10th anniversary of completing treatment
A former cancer patient has marked the 10th anniversary of completing her treatment with a 200-mile walking challenge for Salisbury District Hospital’s charity, the Stars Appeal.
Emma Fortescue completed a round-trip walk of the catchment area of Salisbury District Hospital.
Emma Fortescue said: “I wanted to do it for me and to do something positive to mark the 10th anniversary of my treatment and raise money for the Stars Appeal. I also wanted to do something to thank the doctors and nurses for their amazing skills and dedication in helping me to get better and show how lucky we are to have this wonderful hospital.”
The 59-year-old started the walk at our headquarters at the Hospital on September 1. However, just days after setting off blisters thwarted her efforts and she was forced to rest up to allow her feet to heal.
“That was a challenge because I had got myself so psyched up to do it and after day four I suddenly had to re-evaluate it and was not able to carry on as I had envisaged,” explains Emma.
Despite the setback, Emma, supported by her husband Anthony and dog Mabel as well as friends who joined her on some of the stages of the journey, was soon back on track and did one or two walks a week of around 14 miles a day which took her from Salisbury through to areas including Ringwood, Blandford, Westbury, Devizes, and back to the Hospital.
The day she completed the challenge on November 18 was a very emotional experience for Emma.
Emma said: “I think it just hit me because I had thought that I probably wouldn’t be here in the ten years and I am, so I’m very lucky.”
Emma, who lives in Gussage St Michael in Dorset, was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2012 and had a mastectomy as well as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
It was a scary time for her and her family, which was made easier thanks to the Stars Appeal.
“A lot goes through your mind and it is the fear about having cancer and telling your family. Our son had just set off travelling so having to tell him and my girls, 10 and 12, who were so young was very hard. I thought I’m not going to see them grow up but the care from everybody at the Hospital was phenomenal,” said Emma.
During her treatment she benefited from projects funded by the Stars Appeal which included free aromatherapy sessions.
“When I had the first round of chemo there was an aromatherapist who the Stars Appeal fund. I was terrified but she was so calming and reassuring. It’s nice to be able to keep things like that going. It made such a difference to me.”
Emma, who volunteers for us in a variety of roles including in our bookshop, has raised more than £6,300 for us, which will go towards supporting other cancer patients and enhancing facilities on the Breast Unit and Pembroke Unit at the Hospital.
She thanked everybody who helped her to raise such a fantastic amount.
Find out more about how donations like these are supporting cancer patients. Click here.