A specialist chair for patients undergoing skin cancer treatment is now in place at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital thanks to a cycling challenge by a member of staff.
Lead Therapy Radiographer, Abigael Polley, set out to cycle 1,870 miles during 2019 and 2020 as part of a sponsored challenge to raise the £4,353 needed to purchase the chair for the radiotherapy department, which helps patients who need to wait for up to 30 minutes while a personalised mask is made.
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown, Abigael has managed to complete almost 900 miles this year, and raise more than £3,640 in donations, many from her current and past patients. Further donations to the N&N Hospitals Charity have been used to complete the purchase.
Abigael said: “Some cancer patients need personalised masks made for their skin cancer treatment and due to mobility and breathing difficulties, this chair is more appropriate for their needs than the current flat couch.
“I had a number of massive donations – both from friends and skin cancer patients and their families who wanted to do something for the NNUH Radiotherapy department.
“I am astounded and humbled by their generosity and faith. 2019 saw me cycling 870-miles with the main aim of covering 450-miles over eight rides in eight months. I averaged 56-miles per ride and raised an amazing £2,700 so I decided to continue in 2020 to try and raise the difference.
“It’s fantastic to finally have the chair in place and already makes a huge difference to our patients.”
As well as cycling, Abigael also took on a personal challenge – an abseil down The Forum in Norwich last year, tackling her fear of heights and also receiving donations from supporters.
Head of Radiotherapy, Mark Gilham, said: “I am immensely proud of my colleague and everyone who has supported her. She saw there was a way to enhance the care of our patients and she actively went out to make this happen.”
Donations can still be made to the department via Abigael’s fundraising page here.
For more information about the N&N Hospitals Charity and how you can support us, go to www.nnuhcharity.org.uk
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Photograph: Abigael Polley on the new treatment chair with Dr Jenny Nobes and Jessica Whitpen.jpg Abigael Polley on the new treatment chair with Dr Jenny Nobes and Jessica Whitpen