Chris Riches, Christie supporter
Chris first encountered The Christie as a patient in 2004, when he visited a neck lump clinic about some cysts. In 2005, Chris’s consultant told him he needed half of his thyroid gland removed.
Although one cyst on Chris’s thyroid was the size of a tennis ball, fortunately all the lumps were benign. Chris says the main thing he remembers from this time was spending time on a ward with some very ill cancer patients, but that the nursing team showed kindness to them all.
After initially being discharged from The Christie, Chris’s doctor at Wythenshawe Hospital referred him back, as the remaining half of his thyroid gland had also started to develop large cysts.
Chris had surgery at Wythenshawe Hospital in late 2016 but later received the devastating news that he had cancer in the rest of his thyroid gland and in a lymph node in his neck.
Obviously, Chris was shocked to hear this news and his first thought was for his young children, aged just 9 and 7 at the time.
To treat the cancer, Chris had radioiodine ablation at The Christie. This involved him taking a radioactive pill behind a lead screen in a lead-lined pill pot and spending a week in an isolation suite.
Chris said that although this experience had the potential to be lonely, the facilities were wonderful, and the staff really kept his spirits up. The staff also helped him with calming techniques – Chris said these addressed the anxiety and panic attacks he had been suffering since 2005.
Since his treatment, Chris has had no after-effects of the treatment or surgery. Chris now covers health news in his role as a journalist at the Daily Express. He also campaigns on health-related matters.
In November 2021, Chris was delighted when he won £1,000 from The Christie charity Weekly Lottery. By paying £1, entrants in The Christie charity Weekly Lottery can be in with a chance to win up to £25,000.
"I signed up to The Christie Lottery just as a way to pay something back to the excellent hospital and its brilliant staff – I never for one second thought I would win anything.
"Like The Christie Lottery, I see the health campaigning side of my job as a way to give something back and would encourage everyone to sign up to the lottery too!
"My family were stunned when I told them I won and COVID has hit us hard like many, with children missing proper schooling and holidays being cancelled.
"The wonderful win will help them have a brilliant Christmas to make up for some of their childhood magic memories and trips to see relatives being missed in lockdowns."
The Christie charity only exists because of the fantastic support from all our amazing fundraisers. By playing The Christie charity Weekly Lottery, you can help us keep making a big difference to our cancer patients and their friends and families.
Sign up for The Christie charity Weekly Lottery today and you could be in with a chance to win £25,000!