Mark Steel, aged 55 years old from Ramsbottom was diagnosed with stomach cancer in October 2015.
Mark had begun to lose his appetite and had a lot of wind. A few months later Mark was eating just one proper meal a week, needless to say he had lost a lot of weight. Mark isn’t someone to make a fuss but equally he knew something wasn’t right and made an appointment to see his GP; his third visit to the doctors in twenty five years!
Mark was mis-diagnosed as having acid reflux and after eight weeks of medication he wasn’t feeling any better, he now weighed just 40kilos. Mark demanded to have a camera down his throat and was consequently diagnosed with stomach cancer.
Initially Mark refused to accept the diagnosis and did not want to know about the treatments available to him. Mark, married and father of two grown-up children comments “I had given up, I felt a burden to my family and I felt completely isolated from everyone around me. I wondered whether people would want to be in my company, I didn’t feel human.”
It was Mark’s Macmillan nurse who suggested and eventually convinced Mark to visit Rossendale Hospice. “Trust me, try it” his nurse said and he did.
Mark didn’t make an appointment, he simply enquired at the Hospice reception desk. Initially Mark was incredibly nervous until he met one of our Day Therapy nurses Rita.
Following his first visit to Rossendale Hospice, Mark commenced 10 courses of chemotherapy each lasting 7.5 hours long.
Eight months later the tumour in his stomach has shrunk by 40% and the shadows on his liver and kidneys have gone. He is now on a course of Herceptin and will have to endure 36 treatments of 1 hour each. Mark needs to have regular check-ups every 3 weeks and an EGC and CT scan every 12 weeks to monitor his heart condition as heart failure is a side effect of the Herceptin drug.
Mark’s appetite is improving all the time and is now eating four meals a day, slowly he is regaining his former strength and combating the overwhelming tiredness the treatment caused.
Mark has returned to work full time as a Contracts Manager for a Central Heating Company in Liverpool. The only day he doesn’t go to work are Thursdays when he looks forward to coming to Rossendale Hospice as a Day Therapy patient where he enjoys chatting to other patients who really do understand how he is feeling.
Mark’s next goal is to undertake the Morecambe Bay Walk. On Sunday 11 July Mark will take part in the eight mile cross the bay challenge to raise much needed funds for Rossendale Hospice, which in Mark’s words is “I will be forever grateful to Rossendale Hospice and cannot speak too highly about the marvellous work done there. The Hospice has given me more time to spend with my wife and children. The Hospice helped me to live again”.
Six Valley schools raised a record amount for Rossendale Hospice in an entrepreneurial challenge.
The event, jointly organised by Rossendale Hospice supported by the Hospice’s Corporate Ambassadors Group and Alder Grange School, is in its 4th year and has so far raised over £29,400. The six schools raised a combined total of £8,915 in this year’s ‘Youth Enterprise Challenge’.
The contest, launched in October last year, lasted 16 weeks and saw Year 10 teams from Alder Grange, All Saints, Fearns, Whitworth High, Haslingden High and Tor View schools, all come up with enterprising initiatives to generate as much income as possible to be donated to the hospice.
The ‘Celebration Event’ took place at Alder Grange School, where all the teams presented their results to the panel of judges. They were judged on 7 award categories; Most Profit Raised, Most Money Raised Per Pupil, Most Innovative Idea, Greatest Community Involvement, Best Presentation and Reporting, Special Recognition Award, and the Fundraisers Praise Award.
17 members of staff from Irwell Medical Practice have set themselves the challenge of completing the Gung-Ho challenge on the 29th June. They have chosen to support Rossendale Hospice and the money they raise will be donated to the Hospice. If you wish to read more about their story or wish to show them support please visit their Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/irwellmedicalpractice
Rossendale businesses raise thousands to celebrate Hospice’s anniversary
A group of Rossendale businesses successfully raised over £5,680 for Rossendale Hospice to mark its thirtieth anniversary. This year Rossendale Hospice is celebrating 30 years of providing specialist care to patients, and their families, with life-limiting conditions. To commemorate the anniversary the hospice worked with the Rossendale Hospice Corporate Ambassadors Group and invited local companies to get involved in its inaugural Business Challenge. As well as competing for the most funds raised, the businesses were competing for five other award categories.
The Business Challenge, which launched earlier this year, was sponsored by local accountants and business advisers Cassons, part of the Baldwins Group, which has supported the charity for the past four years. The Business Challenge Awards ceremony was kindly hosted by Valley at Work as part of the Rossendale Business Awards. Firms who pledged to take part in the Business Challenge were given a £50 investment fund and 10 weeks to raise as much money as they could for the hospice, using their entrepreneurial and team building skills.
The results of the Rossendale Hospice Business Challenge were announced at the Rossendale Business Awards on Wednesday 14 November.
The winners were
• Snapper & Hack, also known as Liz Henson Photography and Catherine Smyth Media,
won the Rossendale Free Press Award which was the official Rossendale Business award for engagement in CSR
• Rossendales Ltd won the Investment Champion category for the most amount raised
• Snapper & Hack won the #RossHospice Award, sponsored by Big Tank Promotions, for their use of social media
• Chic Boutique Travel won the the Innovator Award, sponsored by Keenan’s Estate Agent because of the innovative use of travel themed fundraising events
• HD Signs won the Community Conqueror Award because of the way they used their wider contacts and networks to raise funds, including a raffle
• Ivory Beau won the Tiny but Mighty Business Award which went to sole trader Jodie Bulling who used her customers, friends and family to raise as much as she could.
Thanks again to the businesses who took park in the Business Challenge, and thanks to every person who bought raffle tickets and cakes, dressed down and attended events to raise money for the hospice.
** BOOGIE NIGHT EVENT CANCELLED ** due to unforeseen circumstances our Boogie Night event scheduled to be held tomorrow night has been cancelled. We send our sincere apologies to all who supported the event and bought costumes and tickets.
Our 2018 Inter School Penny Challenge has started and finishes Thursday 1st November. Children from thirty seven nursery, primary and secondary schools across the valley will take part in the six week challenge to try and fill their penny pinching house with as much loose change as they can.
At the end of the challenge, an army of Hospice volunteers collect the returned boxes from the schools and count the monies received. The winning nursery, primary and secondary school categories will each be presented with a trophy to keep for the year.
Listen to the views of some of our patients and hear about what the Hospice needs to provide our services.