Helena’s special gift for The Christie’s young cancer patients

Press release posted 16 November 2016

Fundraiser Helena Broude has marked a milestone birthday by donating dozens of presents to young cancer patients in memory of her eldest son.

Helena, who was 60 recently, visited The Christie’s Teenage and Young Adult unit (TYA) to hand over more than 30 gifts donated by family and friends in place of presents for her.

Robert, a Manchester Grammar School pupil, was treated as a teenager at The Christie in Manchester for a rare form of cancer and sadly passed away in 2004 aged 19. He was the eldest son of Helena and her husband Peter.

Helena said: “Our family did a similar thing on what would have been Rob’s 30th birthday. When I reached my 60th I thought, there’s nothing I really need and that any gifts would benefit the young people more and give them something to look forward to.

Lots of friends and family were happy to give presents for such a cause.

Since Robert’s death in 2004, the Broude family from Prestwich have tirelessly fundraised nearly £400,000 for The Christie charity. The family raised enough money to fund a new day unit for teenage and young adult patients at The Christie which was named Rob’s Day Unit as a tribute.

In June, Robert’s brothers, Adam and Mark, visited The Christie to deliver more than 60 gifts for young people at The Christie to mark what would have been their brother’s birthday. 

Becky Jones, fundraising development manager at The Christie charity, said: “Helena, her family and everyone in the YOUCare Committee have supported The Christie hugely in memory of Rob. It means so much to the young patients at The Christie and we really do appreciate everything they do for us.”

The Christie charity supports the work of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust through its fundraising activities, and delivers projects, equipment and improvements that are over and above what the NHS funds. The charity has over 43,000 supporters who helped raise  £15.9m last year.