Olly and Sam thank QEQM cancer unit with charity football match at Margate FC

Olly Solly, left, and Sam Murray

By Liz Baker

A dad to be who developed the same cancer as his brother is raising money for the unit where they were both treated.

Olly Solly was 21 when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma – the same cancer his brother Benjamin had beaten 11 years previously.

Both brothers had chemotherapy treatment at the Viking Day Unit at the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, and Olly is holding a football match this Saturday in aid of East Kent Hospitals Charity, to benefit the unit.

His friend Sam Murray, 28, is also organising the event at Margate Football Club, after his mum had treatment at the unit.

Olly, now 28, from Margate, said: “My consultant told me that if I’d put a pound on Benjamin and I developing the same cancer I would never have to work another day in my life.

“We are both absolutely fine now and the team at the Viking Day Unit were amazing. They were so kind and compassionate and made us all feel as comfortable and supported as possible.

“We wanted to give something back to say thank you for everything they did for us both, and for Sam’s mum, and all the other patients who need treatment there.”

Ben (left) Olly (top right) and Sam (bottom right)

Benjamin was 16 when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma – on Olly’s 14th birthday. Seven years later Olly, who works as a self-employed floor layer, began to develop similar symptoms, including weight loss and night sweats.

He said: “We were both young and fit and I think it was pure bad luck that we both had the same cancer.

“It wasn’t until I found a lump when I was in the shower that I thought I’d better get it checked out, because of what Benjamin had been through.

“They found abnormal cells in my spleen and groin, so it was classed as stage 2A, while Benjamin’s was stage one.

“Chemo started two weeks after the diagnosis was confirmed and I thought it would be hell but it wasn’t as bad as I expected.

“The first session hit me quite hard and it definitely wasn’t easy but it wasn’t as tough as I thought, and I will be forever grateful for the treatment I received.”

This is the friends’ second fundraiser for the unit, and their first netted more than £1,400. This time they have already raised £1,000 through their fundraising website, and will hold a raffle on the day to raise extra cash, with prizes donated by local businesses.

Everyone is welcome to come along to the match, which will feature two teams of family and friends of Sam and Olly.

Kick-off is at 2.30pm on Saturday, 8 June, at Margate Football Club and tickets cost £5 for adults and £1 for children aged 10 and under.

You can also donate online at https://www.gofundme.com/f/viking-day-unit-charity-match

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