Gail Nicholls, Christie patient

Gail Nicholls was diagnosed with a sacral chordoma – an incredibly rare tumour which grows in the spine – in late 2018.

Chordoma is a rare type of slow growing cancer that occurs in the bones of the skull base and spine. It is part of a group of malignant bone and soft tissue tumors called sarcomas.

The tumour is so rare, doctors locally referred Gail to specialists at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham, who were able to further assess Gail’s condition and explain her treatment options.

Because of the position of Gail’s tumour, a panel of experts decided proton beam therapy (PBT) was appropriate for Gail. Two days later, she came to The Christie for a PBT assessment.

Gail said: “As soon as I stepped foot in The Christie, I felt immediately reassured. I was told what would happen and when, and I was given a key worker who is available to me at any time to help with any questions or problems I may have.

“Within a very short space of time I have gone from despair at not knowing my future, to hope that I now have a way forward.”

Gail Nicholls, Christie patient