A scientist and father of 3 from Macclesfield, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer, is urging people to give generously to fund The Christie’s new £26m cancer centre in Macclesfield.
Keith Mulholland, age 57, who is married to school exam invigilator Catherine, age 54, was diagnosed in December 2018 and treated at The Christie in the autumn of 2019.
Due to his dad having prostate cancer, Keith was already having prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests every 2 years. Through the health screening his employer Astra Zeneca provide, a higher level of PSA was found, and Keith was referred for an MRI scan and biopsy which resulted in his cancer diagnosis.
Keith was initially referred to The Christie in December 2018 to discuss brachytherapy as a treatment option. He chose instead to have the cancer surgically removed through a prostatectomy at Stepping Hill. Unfortunately, his PSA levels started to rise after the surgery, and he was referred to The Christie for a course of radiotherapy.
He said: “In November and December 2019, I completed 20 sessions of radiotherapy at The Christie in Manchester to treat prostate cancer. They offered me excellent medical care at the cutting edge of science and they understood and were sensitive to my patient needs.
“The Christie delivered the absolute highest standard of medical care possible. The radiotherapy staff not only supported me but also helped my wife and I to access some counselling during my treatment.
“Radiotherapy for prostate cancer often has side effects on the bladder and bowel. I found myself making additional toilet stops along the A34 on my way to and from The Christie. Having The Christie at Macclesfield will make this issue far less likely to occur for patients in Cheshire East. If the radiotherapy had been in Macclesfield it would have only been a 5 or 10 minute journey for me.
“The Christie at Macclesfield will also reduce the carbon footprint for travel from home to hospital. I am looking forward to the imminent opening and hope people will give generously to the appeal fund.”
As a keen runner and a former Chair of Macclesfield Harriers, Keith ran the London Marathon for The Christie in 2010 but never imagined that he would need to be treated there less than a decade later.
Keith is currently well and cancer free. He has regular PSA tests every 6 months and the levels of PSA in his blood are currently undetectable. He has experienced some minor bowel related side effects since having radiotherapy.
Having been diagnosed with cancer has made Keith think about what is important to him for the future. “I now have the ambition to retire by the age of 60. But my hopes of exploring New Zealand and Australia are currently on hold because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”
The recently completely Christie at Macclesfield cancer centre will open to patients on 13 December 2021, transforming cancer care in East Cheshire and providing care closer to home for more than 1,500 existing Christie patients a year.
This ambitious project brings together essential cancer services into one purpose built centre delivering local specialist access to radiotherapy, chemotherapy, haematology, holistic support and information services, outpatient care, palliative care and a wider range of clinical trials than at present. It will accommodate around 46,000 patient visits per year.
There will be specialist examination rooms, a CT simulator where treatments are planned, plus counselling and complementary therapy rooms. Existing Christie patients from Cheshire, North Staffordshire and the High Peak area of Derbyshire will all benefit.
The Christie charity needs to raise £23m towards the £26m new centre. To support The Christie at Macclesfield, visit our Macclesfield campaign page or call 0161 446 3988.
The Christie charity supports the work of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust providing enhanced services over and above what the NHS funds. This includes money for care and treatment, research, education and extra patient services. Gifts from the public make a huge difference to the care and treatment that The Christie is able to provide to patients and their families.
The Christie NHS Foundation Trust was the first specialist trust to be rated as ‘Outstanding’ twice (in 2016 and 2018) by the health regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC). It referred to The Christie as ‘a leader in cancer care’ and ‘a pioneer in developing innovative solutions to cancer care.’ The CQC praised the Trust’s staff which it said ‘go the extra mile to meet the needs of patients and their families’ and that they were ‘exceptionally kind and caring.’ In 2017, the CQC rated The Christie as the best specialist trust in the country, and one of the top three trusts overall in England.