Cathy, Christie patient and supporter

When Cathy was diagnosed with melanoma, it felt to her as though she didn’t have much hope. The tumour was on her finger and as Cathy was a violist, this diagnosis was devastating news.

Cathy’s tumour was removed but she couldn’t hold her bow – meaning she could no longer play the instrument she loved. On top of this, her prognosis later worsened and Cathy was sadly given just a few weeks to live.

Fortunately, a ground-breaking clinical trial at The Christie was available and Cathy’s type of cancer meant she was suitable for the trial. That was 10 years ago and Cathy is incredibly still here.

In some respects, Cathy has people like her father, Chad Hemsley, to thank for her treatment. A builder by trade, Chad was also a singer and pianist, passing on his love of music to Cathy.

But Chad also included a gift in his Will to The Christie. He wanted to pass on hope for future generations of families facing cancer.

Now, Cathy can play the viola again. She knows that live music is now something that is more precious than ever, especially after going through the restrictions on live performances during the COVID-19 pandemic. She’s grateful to people like her father who included gifts in their Wills to The Christie, as this helps fund research into cutting-edge cancer drugs.

“For my father, a gift in his Will was his investment in hope for the future, giving more people the chance to do what they love, with the people they love.
“For me, music is what I love the most. My father passed on his love of music to me and The Christie allowed me my life back, giving me the chance to pick up my viola and play again.”
“Now I go to The Christie regularly and they feel a bit like family to me. What’s more, I know that my participation in a clinical trial will help give hope to future patients.”
“Clinical trials are one of the ways that gifts in Wills make a difference to people’s lives. I feel so lucky to be able to continue my family’s musical legacy, thanks to people like my father who generously looked to the future and included a gift in their Will.”

Cathy, Christie patient and supporter

Image credit: National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)