4 cancer patients who met during treatment will be donning neon fancy dress and walking 5km around Salford Quays on World Cancer Day – Saturday, 4 February – to raise money for The Christie, the specialist cancer centre. 

Lucy Bowden (54 from Macclesfield), Tina Kelly (44 from Heywood), Andy Venables (35 from Macclesfield) and Helen Cannon (64 from Sale) – also known as ‘the fabulous four’ – will all be taking part in The Christie charity’s first Night of Neon event since 2019. The 5km walk will start at The Lowry in Salford Quays and walkers are encouraged to wear their brightest neon costumes and accessories. 

Lucy and Andy have known each other for a long time as they come from the same area. They met Helen and Tina during the course of their treatment at The Christie and all four have been firm friends ever since. They’ve invited around 30 of their family and friends to join them on the walk. 

Lucy, who previously worked as a producer for BBC’s Springwatch, lives near Bristol. She originally comes from Macclesfield and asked her GP to refer her to The Christie because of her connection to the area. 

“I was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer in November 2021 and none of the treatments they tried seemed to be working at first,” comments Lucy. “I then had a liver biopsy and they found that I could be put on a targeted treatment that is now shrinking my tumours. I’ve been able to do so much in the last year, and that’s thanks to The Christie. My team at the BBC was nominated for a BAFTA and I was well enough to go, which was amazing. There was a point in my treatment where I thought that wouldn’t be possible. I’m so grateful to the team at The Christie for everything they’ve done for me. 

“The Christie is a very warm and welcoming place, and that’s all down to the people who work there,” continues Lucy. “I was actually given the opportunity to have some of my treatment at my parents’ home in Macclesfield, but I prefer to come in because everyone is so brilliant. And if I hadn’t been to The Christie so often, Andy and I would have never met Helen or Tina. The three of them have been such a support to me at what’s been a very difficult time in my life. We decided we wanted to do something to give back to The Christie and this walk seemed like the perfect opportunity. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Lucy Bowden and Andy Venables

Around 400 people took part in the event in 2019 and The Christie charity team is hoping that even more people will join in the fun this year. 

Sporting events manager at The Christie charity, Lindsay Farthing, said: “We’re so excited to bring the Night of Neon back after such a long break. The atmosphere is going to be brilliant and we’re all really looking forward to it. On the evening there will be music, entertainment and face painting so it’s something the whole family can get involved in.

“I want to say a big thank you to everybody who has already signed up for this year’s walk. We hope everyone has a fabulous evening and we thank everyone for supporting our cause.”

The Night of Neon takes place on Saturday 4 February 2023. The event village at the Lowry Plaza will open at 6pm and the walk will start at 7pm. You can find out more and sign up on our Night of Neon page

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust is one of Europe’s leading cancer centres and people come to work at the hospital from all over the world. The Trust will be marking World Cancer Day with a celebration of its diverse staff and patient populations. 

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.

Last updated: April 2023