For all our supporters-wherever
you may be…
I have long been waiting to have the privilege of writing this first and most important report on where “20-20 Voice” Cancer fundraising is heading and I am absolutely delighted to pass this news on to you all.
We are in the process of purchasing our first major piece of equipment for the Leicester Royal Infirmary ENT cancer unit:
This is where it all started from and the story is short & simple folks! My surgeon, after a 21/2 hr emergency tracheotomy, sat by my bedside a couple of days later and apologised to me because he felt that the only option was to remove the entire larynx and bemoaned the fact that NHS cuts were stopping him from being able to treat ‘his patients’ as ‘he wanted to’. He pointed at a picture in a magazine he was carrying and simply said “If we had that, we could diagnose throat cancers so much quicker but we have to battle for every single thing/penny we get”.
His quiet, laconic words hit me immediately, I felt for this brilliant medical man, who had hands like ‘hams’ but who’s touch was as gentle as a babies, and immediately uttered the immortal words, “Andy, you save my sorry ‘ass’ and I’ll make sure you get your, err, err, rhino-thingy-wotsit!” He gazed at me for a few moments, smiled and then shook my hand. The deal was done folks.
Various endoscopic ’tissue sample grabbers’
I hadn’t got a clue how I was going to carry out this promise but nearly 4 years later, £15,000 later and with the immeasurable help of hundreds of people, here we are, ready to rock ‘n’ roll with our first, much promised and much fought for
For those of you who are wondering what we are going to do now that we have achieved our goal, let me tell you this folks…… there is plenty more we need to do in this sphere, so the ‘Endoscopic Biopst Grabber’ is next on the list. Awareness is still limited among the vast majority and we are still looking into a tele-communication system for all larys to be able to cope with.
Other hospitals need our help too as the LRI (Leicester Royal Infirmary) is not the only major Head & Neck cancer unit in the country. But, before any of that, we need to buy the ‘little brother‘ of our friend FVR (above) for he is the new ‘jewel in the crown‘. He can sneak down, alongside the FVR tube and snick off a tiny (but correctly pinpointed) little bit of human tissue from deep inside the neck, throat, larynx etc. He can do this because WE (that’s all of us) have provided the ENT boys with the FVR which shows up the entire internal view of the larynx on a 30” full colour TV screen. Together we’ve done that! Together we’ve created this wonderful opportunity for our specialists to act fast and possibly save a sufferer what many of us have already endured: 8-10-12-14 even 16hrs of surgery to try and correct what cancer has tried to destroy. This is not to mention, of course, the horror of finding that you can no longer verbally communicate!
Excellent news as we are now presenting the Kinmonth ward with an i-pad for all those unfortunate enough to lose their voice-box/larynx. This i-pad will be a gift to the ward so that all such lary’s can quickly get accustomed to communicating in a different way-by letting a machine do it for them!
This means that even the day after an operation new laryngectomees will be able to ‘talk’ with other people instead of laying their feeling totally useless. This is another major step forward for “20-20 voice” Cancer as we strive to help all head & neck cancer patients. This donation has been included in the hospital “Together” magazine:
Quote: iPad donated to Kinmonth Unit
“In January, a local head and neck cancer charity,
“20-20 Voice” Cancer, presented an i-pad to the
Kinmonth Unit at Leicester Royal Infirmary. The kind
donation was made in memory of patient who had
a laryngectomy (voice box removal) and removal of
her tongue last year, who unfortunately passed away
shortly after finishing her chemotherapy.
Tracey Brooks, Macmillan head and neck clinical
nurse specialist said: “The i-pad is now being used
to help patients who have a laryngectomy or head
and neck surgery which often leaves them unable
to communicate. It’s been loaded with a brilliant
speak easy app and has already had a really positive
effect on our patients.”
Phil Johnson presents Tracey Brooks with the i-pad
***** And moving swiftly on folks, we have just donated another i-pad, but this time to the Maxillofacial ward in the Leicester Royal Infirmary.Tracy B & Charlotte P escorted me to wherever this particular ward lives (it is easy to get lost believe me!) and introduced me to some of the staff and a consultant no less! Tracy & Charlotte explained what we were all about and they were genuinely delighted to accept the i-pad. Even Mr Avery’s stern countenance fractured into a near smile . I jest of course.
Having met some of the previous patients I was appalled that they had no communication aids apart from “pen ‘n’ paper” so the Trustees quickly agreed to help them, and now any patients (pre-op or post-op) that are struggling to ‘talk’ can now ‘talk’ via the i-pad.
A damned fine day indeed.
Stella evening-yet again!
Tuesday 29th September (2015) saw another successful night at the Chef & Spice restaurant when 53 diners revelled in the vast array of foods on offer as Syed’s chefs excelled yet again. This year we had the priviledge of our patron, Mr Willie Thorne, dining with us and indeed, Willie made after dinner speaking look so easy as he soon had his audience laughing & clapping.
We presented Mr Peter Conboy with a cheque for £10,000 so that the Leicester ENT department can go ahead with the purchase of the second part of what we originally set out to do – the “Biopsy Grabber”. This now means that the Leicester Royal Infirmary will have the up to date technology to deal with the early diagnosis that ALL possible throat cancer sufferers need to guarantee survival. It is without doubt that early diagnosis is the answer to our type of cancer and we also presented our “Awareness Survey” to our consultants, some of the contents of which will surprise them!