Sally Hayton, Christie patient

Sally Hayton received a diagnosis of a rare form of ALK-positive lung cancer 6 years ago. The news was a shock – she had never been a smoker. And getting the news on Christmas Eve made it especially difficult to deal with.

At first, Sally thought no hospital would be able to help her. But when she was referred to The Christie, she was introduced to a team led by Dr Yvonne Summers, a lung cancer specialist.

Sally’s diagnosis news meant she had to receive chemotherapy before she could move on to targeted treatment. Dr Summers and her team were researching targeted treatment options for ALK-positive patients. This gave Sally a lifeline.

Sally’s targeted treatment began with the use of an innovative drug called Crizotinib. More recently, she was treated with Brigatinib, a drug so new at the time it was still being trialled.

6 years later, Sally is feeling energetic and healthy. She is looking forward to being able to spend more time with her partner Frank, her family and her friends.

One of the elements of her care that Sally has found especially comforting has been the close relationship between her and her Christie medical team. Sally’s team have been with her during the whole of her time at The Christie.

This closeness of her medical team has made it easier for Sally to ask questions and keep her team up to date on how she feels and any side effects she’s experiencing. It’s also made it easier for the team to track her progress and tweak her treatment for her individually.

That’s why Sally is supporting The Christie’s Team Science appeal to build a new cancer research centre.

With our partners The University of Manchester and Cancer Research UK, we are building a new world class transformational research facility. It means that scientists and clinicians will be able to work closer together – and deliver benefits to patients.

“The sort of lung cancer I’ve got is so rare. There aren’t many people who understand it, but they do at The Christie.”
“The Christie has become like a second home to me. I’ve got confidence in the medical team that I see, which just makes a world of difference.”
“I feel so fortunate that I’ve been treated at The Christie. Funding the new building will connect patients with scientists, researchers and clinicians, so all patients can have the same excellent, personalised care that I’ve had.”

 - Sally Hayton