Doctors, nurses and a wide range of other staff from The Christie will honour the struggles of some of their colleagues and patients living with and battling cancer by running the Great Manchester Run this autumn.
A team of 16 has decided to run for The Christie charity this year in recognition of the impact the charity has investing in fantastic patient facilities at the cancer centre and funding clinical research to find pioneering new treatments.
The head of operations at The Christie, Bernie Delahoyde, has been instrumental in pulling the team together. Bernie is running the event for the third time. She said: “As in every walk of life, I and all of those who are running in this team have known colleagues over the last few years that have been diagnosed with cancer. And just because we work at a cancer centre it is no less shocking or heartbreaking to have to see them go through it.
“Thankfully many colleagues have been successfully treated but there are some who are still on treatment and having to live with a cancer diagnosis, and sadly a few who are no longer with us as the treatments available were not effective. That’s why the clinical research we do at The Christie is so important as it gives life and hope and it’s why our Christie charity is so vital because it helps fund research.
“The NHS as a whole has faced huge challenges throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and our staff at The Christie have worked tirelessly with skill, dedication and compassion to keep cancer services going throughout. Being able to bring this team together to take part in the iconic Great Manchester Run is a fantastic morale booster for everyone at The Christie.
“I hope that people throughout Greater Manchester will sign up to run the event for The Christie this year as the pandemic has hit our charity hard and income is down by 25%. Cancer didn’t stop in the pandemic and neither did we, but we need our supporters more than ever this year – to either run for us or sponsor someone who is.”
(Left to right) Team members Tracy Iles, Bernie Delahoyde, Ranald Mackay and Stuart Keen outside The Christie.
The Christie team includes 6 nurses, 4 doctors, 4 managers, a physicist and an estates manager. Many have chosen to enter simply to support the cause, and others decided to join in due to an even more personal connection.
One of those running is Professor Ranald MacKay, director of Christie medical physics and engineering. His mum Christine was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer over two years ago. “I was so very pleased that she could be treated at The Christie,” he said.
“My mum underwent an intense course of combined radiotherapy and chemotherapy in the run up to and over the Christmas holiday. She has recovered well and returned to an active life in Anglesey. I am grateful to all the many professions who contributed to her care in what was a very difficult time.
“I’m really proud to work at The Christie and I’m proud to be part of the team for the iconic Great Manchester Run this year.
“I work with the team that performs proton beam therapy experiments through the night, doing science while others sleep to further the effectiveness of proton therapy. The Christie charity enabled this work to take place by funding a fourth room dedicated to research, in addition to the 3 clinical rooms for proton beam therapy paid for by the NHS. This research facility is unique within the UK and will keep The Christie proton beam therapy centre at the cutting edge.”
The full Christie team for the 10km event comprises Claire Adams, Faye Barnes, Dr Jon Bell, Mandy Bell, Bernie Delahoyde, Professor Adrian Bloor, Dr Larysa Duniec, Stuart Keen Tracy Iles, Professor Ranald Mackay, Dr Jaya Nariani, Theresa Plaiter, Rachel Rathbone, Jackie Wrench, Sharon Wroe and Janelle Yorke.
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.