Half marathon runners boost Bath cancer unit charity coffers by more than £4,000

 A father has run his own half marathon to raise money for the Bath Cancer Unit Support Group (BCUSG) and to thank the medical staff who are treating his wife.

Ian McPherson from Norton St Philip is one of several half marathon runners who have raised a total of £4,324 for the charity which provides vital medical equipment for cancer patients at Bath’s Royal United Hospital (RUH).

Last year Ian’s wife, Becky, was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer which spread to her liver. She is currently receiving chemotherapy at the RUH where doctors have just treated their 3,000th patient using a £1.2m scanner funded by the BCUSG.

The PET-CT scanner, which gives detailed full-body images to help doctors in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, was the first to be permanently installed at an NHS hospital in the South West of England.

Ian and his wife, Becky, who have four children, are calling on others to raise funds at home while in lockdown for the BCUSG which is now looking to part-fund an advanced gamma camera for the RUH. The charity currently needs to raise £340,000 towards the cost of the camera which will provide even more detailed images for cancer diagnosis.

Ian said: “Becky continues to receive chemotherapy following a liver operation last September, so we have spent a lot of time at the RUH during the last year. Everyone there has been absolutely fantastic to us and we wanted to do something to support the wonderful staff at the RUH and to help other patients.”

Ian signed up to run the Bath Half Marathon in aid of the BCUSG but decided to run his own route around Bath because of the Coronavirus pandemic, raising £1,340 for the charity.

“Becky and the kids, and their grandparents, were there to cheer me on when I finished which was great,” added Ian.

Other half marathon runners from the Bath area who raised money for the BCUSG include Linas Panka and David and Louise Dalton.

BCUSG chairman Mike Taylor said: “We would like to say a big thank you to Ian and all the other half marathon runners who have chosen to support the charity and the cancer unit.

He added: “We are delighted that 3,000 patients have now been treated using the PET-CT scanner at the RUH. We now need others to organise their own fundraising events at home and help us fund the advanced camera so that even more patients can be treated.

“We are also looking for corporate sponsors to help us ensure we can continue our valuable work supporting the RUH cancer unit.”

Commenting on the 3,000-patient milestone, Dr Stewart Redman, who is a consultant radiologist at the RUH, said the PET-CT scanner has made an enormous difference to patients.

“Having a local scanner has made this available to many more patients, improving the accuracy of our diagnosis and making sure that our patients are getting the right treatments,” he said.

“We are enormously grateful to the fundraising efforts of the BCUSG and the people of Bath, Trowbridge and surrounding areas, for funding the scanner.”

To donate to the Bath Cancer Unit Support Group, or to discuss becoming a corporate partner, please email Alan Webb at fundraising@bcusg.org or phone 07896 741233. Alan would also like to hear from people who are prepared to run the 2021 Bath Half in aid of the charity.