Doncaster mum of four rings bell to mark end of cancer treatment

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A mother of four who was diagnosed with aggressive lung cancer in 2015 was one of the first patients to ring a bell at Weston Park Hospital to mark the end of her treatment.

After having her final Radiotherapy session last month, Pauline Kennington who lived in Doncaster, gladly rang the bell which was funded by the hospital’s dedicated charity, Weston Park Cancer Charity.

The bell, which is situated in the busy Radiotherapy Department at Weston Park Hospital, will be rung by each patient on their final treatment session to signify the end of their treatment at the hospital.

Clinical Specialist Radiographer at Weston Park Hospital, Nicki Lee said, “We are very excited to have the new finishing bell in Radiotherapy and offer patients the chance to ring it 3 times after their treatment is over. For many patients, Radiotherapy treatment can be given over a long period of time, often for up to 6 weeks at a time, so the final appointment really is a cause for celebration.”

“The cancer charity funds various projects within the Radiotherapy department to enhance the patient experience and the bell will be a welcome and quirky addition to help patients mark their special day.”

Weston Park Hospital is one of only a handful of specialist cancer hospitals in England and treats patients from all over South Yorkshire, North Nottinghamshire and North Derbyshire – a population of almost 1.8million people.

Weston Park Cancer Charity is the only dedicated charity for the hospital and exists to support the world-class cancer research and to improve the treatment and care for people living with cancer.

Pauline, who also received chemotherapy treatment at Doncaster Royal Infirmary before coming to Weston Park Hospital, says she can’t thank the staff enough for getting her through what she thought would be a scary experience.

Pauline said: “Before starting my treatment I’d heard things that had made me quite anxious and apprehensive but the staff couldn’t have made me feel more at ease and I was never scared or confused at any stage of treatment.

“My family have been amazing throughout- coming to every appointment with me and reassuring me every step of the way. The bell was the icing on the cake for me and I must admit I’ll be sad not to see some of the nurses at Weston Park Hospital again.”

Weston Park Hospital is home to the only radiotherapy department in South Yorkshire meaning that patients from across the region are required to attend for radiotherapy treatment on this specialised unit.

There are between 230 and 250 patients treated each day in the radiotherapy department and patients can attend for between 1 and 37 times for treatment.

Charity Senior Fundraising Manager, Helen Gentle said, “It’s fantastic to see patients enjoying the use of the new bell in the Radiotherapy department that the cancer charity proudly funded. Every project we fund within Weston Park Hospital must benefit the patient and this is a small, yet powerful, example of what a difference the little things mean to those receiving treatment every day.”

The charity needs to raise over £2 million this year to enable the funding of committed and new projects that will keep patients at the forefront of cancer treatment.

For more information or to get involved and support the cancer charity’s vital work visit www.wphcancercharity.org.uk or call the charity office on 01142265370.