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Olympic gold medal hockey player Sam Quek, and former Liverpool and Everton footballers Jamie Carragher, Graeme Sharp and Ian Snodin were at the site of the new Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in Liverpool city centre for the landmark event.
Watch all of the highlights of the launch here…
We spoke to Samantha about why she is involved in the appeal and of course got her I’m A Celeb highlights. Watch the video above.
The stars joined ten year- old Reece Holt, who was treated at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust in Wirral for a brain tumour, to officially start the £15 million appeal.
Katrina Bury, Head of the Clatterbridge Cancer Charity, said: “One in two of us will develop cancer over our lifetime so this new hospital is vitally important for the people of Merseyside and Cheshire.
“We are only going to get one chance in our lifetime to build a brand new facility like this, which will transform cancer care for generations to come.
“I would like to thank Sam, Jamie, Graeme, Ian and of course Reece for helping us launch this incredibly important appeal. We hope everyone will get behind us and help to build a cancer hospital that we can all be proud of.”
Reece, 11, from Morecambe in Lancashire who was treated with radiotherapy after surgery for an aggressive grade three brain tumour, said: “I can’t wait to see the hospital once it is built, it looks like something out of the future and I’m excited about the new technology for treating patients like me.”
Mum Rachel O’Neil said: “Until the morning of the 5th May last year cancer didn’t affect me or anyone I knew. By 7pm that evening my son was on full life support fighting for his life. Why should you get behind and donate if it doesn’t affect you? Because it can happen in the blink of an eye and the work they do at Clatterbridge is invaluable.”
Sam said: “I would urge everyone to get behind this appeal in any way they can. It is really important that the great work of The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in Wirral extends to Liverpool. This is an innovative city and it is incredible to see Liverpool at the centre of expert treatment and cancer research.”
Graeme said: “The staff at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre do a fantastic job and it is great that this new facility will be opening in Liverpool and working towards eradicating cancer. This appeal is something everyone should get behind. Cancer has touched my family and I think most families, so it is really important that the city’s football clubs back this appeal.”
Jamie said: “I am very pleased to be involved today. Cancer is something that affects us all at some time in our lives whether individually in our life or through a family member or a friend. I think to have the new centre here can only be great for the city.”
Andrew Cannell, chief executive of The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our new hospital, due to open in Liverpool city centre in 2019, is part of an exciting programme of capital investment of £157m to expand and improve cancer care in Merseyside and Cheshire.
“We want to continue to change cancer care for the better and we can only do this by investing in our current sites in Wirral and Aintree, and building a brand new cancer hospital in the heart of Liverpool.
“To ensure we really can achieve our vision for patient’s right across the region, we are launching this extremely important £15m public appeal.
“With the support of the people of Merseyside and Cheshire, this new hospital alongside our existing network of ten operating sites means that patients will benefit from the most advanced cancer treatment, expertise and research as close to home as possible.”
As well as the new hospital due to open in 2019, £8 million will be invested in the current site in Wirral as part of the £157 million investment in transforming cancer care. The radiotherapy centre at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre Aintree, and chemotherapy clinics in the region’s district hospitals will also continue to treat patients.
People are being invited to join in the drive by going green, the corporate colour of The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust and its charity.
Schools, colleges and businesses have been holding green days, people have been having green bake sales and a number of landmark buildings in Merseyside, Cheshire and the Isle of Man have been lighting up in green in support of the appeal.
Social media is awash with the hashtag #letsgogreen and people are being encouraged to post a selfie dressed in green and make a donation to the fund.
People who want to help can also text Lets194 to 70070 to make a donation of £4.
For more information, visit www.clatterbridgecc.nhs.uk or follow us @CCCNHS on Twitter.
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