The new Cancer Research superstore at Westwood Gateway retail park has been officially opened.
The ribbon was cut yesterday (May 30) by six times cancer survivor David Leavesley, from Chartham.
The new shop in the former Argos unit is a discount superstore with products £5 or under, as well as new goods. It offers clothing and accessories, books and CDs, children’s wear, toys and homeware, with all profits supporting the charity’s life-saving research.
Along with donated items, it also sells a range of new greetings cards, accessories and surplus stock gifted from high street corporate supporters of the charity.
David has been treated for the disease six times and is living proof that advances in cancer treatment are happening every day – and need funding.
David said: “Many people still think of cancer as a death sentence. I’m being treated for the sixth time and whilst the doctors can treat me, I’m having that treatment and getting on with my life.
“It is a bumpy road, but thanks to advances in treatment, helped by organisations like Cancer Research UK, I’m still here to tell the story and hopefully give people encouragement, belief and hope to others in a similar situation.”
David, who is retired from a career in Customs & Excise, was first diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008. He underwent surgery, radiotherapy and hormone therapy.
All was well until August 2019 when there was three and a half years of further diagnosis and gruelling cancer treatment.
This included, colon cancer, a brain tumour, an abdominal tumour, a liver tumour, cancer in lymph nodes and peritoneum, for which David has ongoing treatment. Some of the cancers are secondaries, which have spread from the original site elsewhere in his body.
Other members of his family have been affected by cancer so David has undergone genetic testing but he does not carry a faulty gene.
Cancer Research UK has helped develop some of the drugs David has been treated with.
Alyson Price, manager of the new superstore, said: “We’re delighted to be opening this fabulous new shop in Thanet.
“We hope people will pop in and discover the range of bargains we offer. There’s lots of free parking right outside, so it is easy to drop off any unwanted items to donate to us.
“We’re really grateful to David and his wife Dee for coming along to be our special guests to cut the ribbon and officially open the shop.
“David’s story really brings home the importance of raising funds to support the charity’s ground-breaking work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.”
The store has a number of volunteer roles on offer from serving customers to merchandising the displays.
“People can help get our new shop off to a flying start by shopping with us, donating stock for our shelves or generously offering their time as volunteers,” said Alyson.
“No matter how much time someone can give or what their experience, we would love them to get in touch. It all helps toward our goal of beating cancer sooner,” she added.
The shop will be open seven days a week, from 10am-6.30pm Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on Saturday and 10am-4pm on Sunday.
For more information about Cancer Research UK visit www.cruk.org/shops or follow @CRUKshops on Twitter.