Hospital walkathon raises cash for bone cancer charity

SUPPORTIVE Donna Burgess, QA's haemotology clinical nurse specialist, and Cecilia Hartt, a Macmillan volunteer, at the walkathon
SUPPORTIVE Donna Burgess, QA's haemotology clinical nurse specialist, and Cecilia Hartt, a Macmillan volunteer, at the walkathon

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DOCTORS, nurses, patients, and visitors at a hospital took part in a six-hour walkathon for Myeloma Awareness Week.

The fundraiser at Queen Alexandra Hospital was organised by the Portsmouth Myeloma Support Group as part of Myeloma UK’s “Walk With Me” campaign.

The campaign aims to raise awareness about Myeloma, a form of bone cancer which has few or no symptoms.

Donna Burgess, the only haemotology clinical nurse specialist working at QA hospital, organised the event with members from the Myeloma support group she formed last November.

The walkathon took place in the atrium entrance at the hospital, with patients, friends, family, and passers-by all invited to take part.

Support group member Sara Glazier said: ‘Patients like me who have Myeloma cancer rely heavily on the support groups organised by the Portsmouth Hospitals group and events such as the walkathon are fun for us all to get together.

‘Just having someone to talk to is priceless.

‘I’ve made lots of friends at the group.’

Around 40 people attend the regular Myeloma support group, which runs on alternate months, to get advice, share experiences, and meet other people affected by Myeloma.

Donna, who helps patients with support throughout their diagnosis and treatment, said: ‘The support group is for anybody affected by Myeloma.

‘Whether that’s the parents, children or even the best friend of a patient, they’re all welcome.

‘Myeloma is most common in the elderly and is normally identified through bone pain.

‘Over the past year, the number of people diagnosed with Myeloma cancer has doubled and is rising each year.

‘We hope that raising awareness of this type of cancer is helping early diagnosis.’

More than £1,400 was raised by the walkathon, of which half will go to Myeloma UK and half to Portsmouth Hospitals Charity.

To donate to Myeloma UK visit myeloma.org.uk/