A Christie patient has become the star of a new film to celebrate the life-saving treatment and research which has taken place in the last 12 months at the specialist cancer centre.

Jo Gardiner, a Didsbury-based NHS physiotherapist, has been treated for lymphoma – a type of blood cancer – three times.

She started her latest course of treatment in December last year after realising her cancer had returned whilst taking part in the BBC TV show ‘Race Across the World’ with her son Sam. Fortunately, following a course of chemotherapy at The Christie over a six month period, she was delighted when scans showed her disease is now back in remission and she needs no further treatment.

As much of Jo’s treatment took place during the coronavirus lockdown, Jo was eager to help other patients in her situation. She took to social media making a video to show others undergoing treatment the many safety measures The Christie was undertaking to protect vulnerable patients.

So, when The Christie was looking for a patient to become a presenter for its annual Review of the Year film, Jo was the obvious candidate.

She said: “I spent a lot of time at The Christie during lockdown having treatment, and having been initially worried, I found it to be very safe and very reassuring, so I decided to do a diary cam to help other patients. I’d never even taken a selfie before then, so it was an interesting experience.

“When the team then asked me to be a TV presenter for the Review of the Year film, I was so excited to help, especially as I knew then that my own treatment had been successful. I was nervous at first, but I enjoyed learning how to use an autocue and talk directly to the camera. The film crew said I was very natural. The film really highlights how important  the life-saving and life-changing work that takes place at The Christie is to real people with real stories like mine, and I was delighted to be involved.”

Jo’s film was premiered at The Christie’s Annual Members’ Meeting on September 23 and can now be viewed on the annual review and report 2019/20 page.

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. 

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