A health care assistant from Birchington Medical Centre who is battling breast cancer is holding a fundraising event in aid of a vital support service.
Shirley Ridge has worked at the centre for nine years helping thousands of patients. But recently she was diagnosed with breast cancer and has just had her second round of chemotherapy treatment.
Shirley and her family have been helped by Macmillan Crossroads Care Kent & Medway Volunteer Service and now she wants to raise awareness of both breast cancer and the help the service can offer for those affected by the disease.
The ‘I’m with Shirley’ fundraiser, on November 2, starts at 9am and will be held at the medical centre and will include stalls, cakes, a tombola and other fun.
At midday there will be a staff charity headshave to raise more funds.
Shirley said: “I want to make people aware of breast cancer and how important it is to speak to your GP if you notice any changes.
“I also wanted to do something to show how much help is out there from Macmillan. Macmillan Crossroads supports local families living with cancer and their families.
“They have helped me and my family so much already on my journey through treatment, I felt it was only fitting that I raise funds for our local Macmillan Crossroads charity to show my thanks and to help this service continue to help other local people.”
‘Courage and strength’
Medical centre practice manager Hannah Price said: “Birchington Medical Centre (BMC) has worked with Macmillan Crossroads over the last couple of years to support many of our patients and their families in difficult times facing cancer.
“They provide a critical service that reaches beyond what we can do as an NHS service and it is always personal to the needs of that patient and their family.
“From help with sorting financial matters, to purchasing items of equipment, to family mediation, counselling, massage, the range and level of support Macmillan Crossroads is able to offer is truly amazing and reaches patients and their family members when they are most in need.
“Our fundraiser, which we have titled “I’m with Shirley”, is in recognition of a colleague’s courage and strength through her own journey with breast cancer, to raise awareness of breast cancer and to raise funds to help ensure that Macmillan Crossroads can continue to offer this amazing service to many more of our patients and their families right here in Birchington.”
Macmillan Crossroads Care Kent & Medway Volunteer Service helps and supports people living with cancer to live as well as possible. They do this by recruiting and training people who give their time freely as volunteers.