Amazing patient raises £6k for cancer unit that feels “like a big hug”
2 months ago
“I was living my best life until I got cancer. Coming for treatment at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre’s Halton unit has been like getting a big hug”
A Runcorn woman currently being treated for breast cancer has raised an incredible £6,000 by organising a fabulous ball for The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre’s Halton unit.
Kelly Barker said she was inspired to fundraise as a way of saying thank-you to the team who have been caring for her. “My experience on this journey has been quite lonely,” she explains, “because none of my friends have had breast cancer. The team in Halton are always so jolly and warm that it’s like getting a big hug when you come for your treatment. They’re just so special and I can’t sing their praises enough.”
When Kelly was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer last year, it came as a bit of a shock. Physically fit and very active, she says she was “living her best life” with her family, working in accountancy, studying part-time and spending her spare time cycling and skiing.
When she started feeling pain in her left breast, she initially thought it was linked to her menstrual cycle. “Then it came back the next month intermittently but this time it didn’t go away after my period,” says Kelly. “A few weeks later, I was on holiday and rolled over in bed and the pain was just incredible. I told my partner I couldn’t ignore it any longer so I went to my GP and everything happened very quickly from there.”
Kelly was sent for a mammogram and ultrasound to investigate. Although the mammogram was clear, the ultrasound showed a lump and when the biopsy results came back, Kelly was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer.
After surgery, she was referred to The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre for the rest of her treatment and has been able to have her care close to home thanks to its pioneering network of clinics in hospitals across Cheshire and Merseyside.
She has completed 13 rounds of chemotherapy from the Clatterbridge team in the Halton CanTreat unit and now returns there every few weeks for hormone injections. She is also having radiotherapy at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre’s Wirral site.
“I’m so lucky that my treatment has all been right on my doorstep,” says Kelly. “If it hadn’t been so local, I don’t think I could have carried on working throughout it all and that’s another thing that made me want to raise money for the unit.
“Cancer can take so much from you. I had to put my studies on hold and I didn’t have the energy for a while to ski and cycle but I work from home as a part-qualified accountant and I really wanted to show that you can still function and do stuff while you have cancer. I’m looking forward to getting back cycling and skiing again.
Many of the Halton team caring for Kelly attended her fundraising ball. The glamorous event took place at Holiday Inn Runcorn on 12th November 2022 and raised a staggering £6,000 for the unit.
Laura Selby, Halton Unit Manager at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, said: “Kelly is just incredible and we really appreciate what she has done, especially while she was going through treatment, and all those who have so generously supported her fundraising. The money will help us enhance the facilities here for the benefit of future patients who come here for treatment at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre’s Halton clinic.”
Kelly has been documenting her cancer journey on TikTok at @k3llyb4rk3r