Eight women from Macclesfield, who first met when their children were at primary school 20 years ago, have completed a 256 mile sponsored walk in the Peak District between them to help raise £6,656 for The Christie at Macclesfield.

One of the group, Nic Hodkinson, has recently completed treatment for breast cancer at The Christie and wanted to use the walk as a way to help rebuild her strength.

Sarah Kershaw, Val Horan, Ali Griffies, Sue Thatcher, Sian Harrison, Paula Maynard and Helen Beech all decided to do the walk to show their support for Nic and for the amazing care she has received from The Christie.

1 - Nic Hodkinson announcing that she is cancer free 

Nic Hodkinson said: “We are very fortunate to have The Christie in the UK let alone in the North West. It’s amazing that The Christie is investing in centres like Macclesfield. The travel for treatment takes a huge toll on the patient and their family. I’m delighted that The Christie’s culture will be replicated at this site. I know from personal experience that it is not so much what they do but how they do it that is so amazing.”

Members of the group of friends have previously raised funds for The Christie by doing The Great North Run, cycling from Manchester to Blackpool, completing the Three Peaks Challenge and riding the Manchester 100 bike ride - some of these several times over.

Commenting on her decision to do the walk, Helen Beech said: “Our friendship began when our children were at primary school more than 20 years ago. Throughout those years, as well as through personal experiences, we have seen family members, close friends and colleagues receive world class care and treatment at The Christie.”

“When Nic was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2019 we were inspired to undertake a significant challenge both in solidarity for our friend and also to raise funds for a really important cause. Thanks to The Christie, Nic is now cancer free. Although this was very much a team effort with collective motivations we have all been touched by cancer.”

“Both my mum and dad were treated at The Christie. In my mum’s case, this was when she was only in her 30s - she went on to live to a very healthy 93 years, so I am very grateful.”

Sue Thatcher, whose sister in law was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of breast cancer in July 2018, also praised the work of The Christie saying: “The Christie supported her throughout. I was with her on several occasions and was deeply moved by what I saw and experienced. Thanks to The Christie she is now cancer free and had her very last Herceptin injection in July 2019.”

The high quality care provided by The Christie was echoed by Ali Griffies: “Along with the amazing treatment I received at The Christie, they treated both my parents and my brother. The impact that cancer has had on my family is hard to put into words.

“When you first arrive, the fear you feel is immeasurable, but the care that they give to guide you and your family through some of your darkest moments is amazing, and when you leave and say goodbye, their constant care and expertise empowers you to get on and live your life, which for the last 16 years I’ve done. Without The Christie, it doesn’t bear thinking about. I owe them everything.”

To find out more about The Christie at Macclesfield appeal and the ways you can support it please contact The Christie charity on 0161 446 3988 or visit www.christies.org/macclesfield  

2 - Nic Hodkinson and her seven friends

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 our patients and their families. The charity has more than 53,000 supporters who helped raise £13.9m last year. 

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.