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Patient Gives Back to Brodey Cancer Centre at Horton General Hospital


Horton General Hospital's Brodey Cancer Centre recently received a heartwarming donation of over £1,000 from former patient Kelly Hewitt, who successfully completed her breast cancer treatment at the facility.

Kelly's life took an unpleasant turn in May last year when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After undergoing a successful mastectomy, she chose the Brodey Centre for her eight chemotherapy sessions. The exceptional care she received left a lasting impact, prompting her to express her gratitude by organising a fundraising campaign.

Despite facing health challenges, Kelly and her family found creative ways to give back, emphasising the importance of community support during tough times.

In collaboration with her friend Louise, husband Matt, and Kelly's three children – Chloe, Kai, and Kasper – Kelly raised £1,017 through various initiatives. An afternoon tea organised by Louise contributed £500, while football scratch cards brought in £400. The children sold toys and crafted 80 origami hearts, raising the final £117.

Kelly said: "We tend to fundraise for number of causes in our family and we usually do that though a sponsored run or walk. As that was not possible this time because of my health condition, my friend Louise organised an afternoon tea event, that included a raffle and raised £1,000 from it – half of that amount went to the Breast Cancer Now charity, and the other half went to Horton General Hospital Charity in support of the Brodey Cancer Centre.

"We also distributed gifts to the staff and other patients in the centre to bring some festive cheer around Christmas."

Expressing her appreciation, Kelly highlighted the compassionate care provided by the centre's staff. She praised their dedication not only to the physical wellbeing of patients but also for their emotional support, creating a sense of community within the centre.

Kelly remarked: "The staff make you feel like a person rather than a patient or number. Along with the physical check, they check in on how the patients are doing mentally. They chat with everyone and make it interpersonal."

As a testament to the exceptional care provided at the Brodey Cancer Centre, Kelly expressed her gratitude, stating: "I can't thank the staff at Brodey Cancer Centre enough for the amazing care they provided throughout my treatment. Some weeks I even looked forward to going for my treatment and seeing them.

"They are hardworking and kind people. Their compassion and passion to provide great care made one of the hardest times in my life significantly easier to sail through. As much as I am relieved to be treated, it is bittersweet not being able to go in the centre weekly to catch up with the friends I made there."

Lisa Aston, Ward Manager at Brodey Cancer Centre, expressed her appreciation for the donation, stating: "Kelly's fantastic donation will help the Brodey Cancer Centre in many ways. There is always a need to replace patient chairs, tables, mugs, cups and other utilities due to wear and tear. We could not do this without the generosity, kindness, and hard work Kelly and other patients and relatives who have donated here, have shown to us.
The staff at Brodey Cancer Centre admire Kelly as much as she does them. Lisa said: "Although Kelly was going through her own treatment, she never let it get her down. On her treatment day, she would always come in with a big smile and a happy disposition making friends with other patients who attended when she did – the laughter and chat that emanated from the room on those days was infectious and brought smiles to everyone.  

"That's not easy to do when you are on your own journey, but it shows the remarkable woman Kelly is. We are grateful for her donations and wish her the very best."

Looking forward, Kelly plans to continue supporting the Brodey Cancer Centre. Her dedication to fundraising and raising awareness underscores the importance of early cancer detection. Kelly encourages everyone to be vigilant about changes in their bodies and emphasises the critical role of early detection in improving treatment outcomes.

Donations to support departments across the Oxford University Hospitals can be made at Oxford Hospitals Charity.