Press release posted 6 April 2022

A Bolton man successfully treated for testicular cancer is backing a new fundraising appeal to support complementary therapies for patients at The Christie.

Phil Gledhill, aged 32, was diagnosed with testicular cancer late last year after being in pain for months. Following scans and investigations, Phil was referred to The Christie where he underwent surgery and 3 months of gruelling chemotherapy. Phil is about to start another course of chemotherapy in the next few weeks.

Phil, a scaffolder who lives in Farnworth with his partner Danielle, is now looking forward to getting his health back on track after the treatment took its toll on his body, losing around 6 stone in weight as a side effect of the chemotherapy.

Phil was supported through his treatment by The Christie’s complementary health and wellbeing team, who provided him self-help resilience and relaxation techniques plus regular massages whilst he was in hospital to help relieve stress and pain. He said: “I had to have chemotherapy for 5 days in hospital, then went home for 7 days before starting the cycle all over again 5 times over 3 months. I was really struggling physically and emotionally when one of the nurses suggested a massage might help me. It seems such a simple thing, but when I was at my lowest, a massage and talking to a therapist helped me get through.”

The Christie’s complementary health and wellbeing service provides vital support to patients during and after their treatment using techniques such as massage, acupuncture and relaxation which have been clinically proven to provide benefits. The service is entirely funded through charitable donations and costs over £200,000 each year.

Phil has lent his story to a fundraising appeal for the service which is currently being sent to Christie supporters throughout the region encouraging them to donate to help people like him. You can support the complementary therapies appeal with a donation today.

Phil added: “It is amazing that this service is available for patients like me. It is a real lifeline at a difficult time. I’m so grateful that kind donations to The Christie charity make things like this possible.”

Jacqui Stringer, lead clinician for the complementary health and wellbeing service at The Christie, said: “Our complementary health and wellbeing service is not just a ‘nice to have’, it can be an integral part of a patient’s cancer journey. Whether it’s providing acupuncture, massage, hypnotherapy or coping techniques, it can support them through the most difficult times. That could be when they are struggling to cope with the stress, anxiety or trauma of a cancer diagnosis or treatment. It could be because they are suffering with treatment side effects, such as sickness.”

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.