A 68-year-old from Chapel-en-le-Frith has shaved her head in a moving tribute to her friend who recently passed away from metastatic breast cancer.

Marie Lawton braved the shave on Sunday 16 August, at Dove Holes Cricket Club, in memory of Noreen Renshaw, who sadly passed away on 9 July 2020.

The pair had been best friends for 56 years and Marie was determined to do something to honour her friend, whilst helping others by raising funds for the new Christie at Macclesfield cancer centre.

Marie’s head shave has already raised £2,170 for The Christie at Macclesfield.

Marie said: “Noreen had breast cancer 7 years ago, but thankfully went into remission after treatment. Sadly, her cancer returned this year and this time it had spread to the brain. She received radiotherapy at The Christie in Manchester, but it was only to manage her symptoms.

“Noreen was passionate about supporting the development of the new Christie centre in Macclesfield as she would have liked to have had access to a local centre when she was first diagnosed with cancer seven years ago and had to travel to receive her chemotherapy treatment.

"Back then Noreen lost her hair so I shaved my head then too. I thought doing it again in her memory was a fitting tribute.

“I’m the same age as Noreen and my 68th birthday was on the day of the head shave. I feel very proud and privileged to have been able to do this to remember my dearest friend and her lovely family, also knowing that I’m helping other cancer patients in the future.

Noreen’s daughters, Elizabeth and Kathryn, also chose The Christie at Macclesfield for the donations from her funeral.

Louise Dawson from The Christie charity said: "We are really grateful to Marie and everyone who supported her head shave. And we’d like to thank Elizabeth and Kathryn for choosing The Christie for the donations from their mum’s funeral. 

“The Christie at Macclesfield will transform cancer care in Cheshire, the High Peak area of Derbyshire and parts of North Staffordshire, providing care closer to home for more than 1,500 existing Christie patients a year.” 

The new centre will bring together essential cancer services into one purpose-built centre delivering local specialist access to radiotherapy, chemotherapy, holistic support and information services, outpatient care, palliative care and a wider range of clinical trials. Around 40,000 appointments per year will take place at the new centre. 

The plans for the new cancer centre were approved by Cheshire East Council in September 2019 and demolition work on the site is now complete. Work on the cancer centre is expected to be completed by the end of 2021, ready for patients in 2022. 

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.