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Countess of Chester Hospital launches £120,000 scanner appeal

Charity campaigning begins for ultrasound scanner for Breast Care Unit

Vanessa Peter, Shari Sale and Helen Wheeler from the Breast Care Radiology Department

A new appeal to raise £120,000 to purchase a new ultrasound scanner for the Breast Care Unit has been launched at the Countess of Chester Hospital.

This will replace an existing scanner which was installed back in 2009 and was purchased from charitable funds.

The Breast Care Unit currently has two scanners which are in constant use on a daily basis. By fundraising for another scanner, patients can be seen sooner.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK today. Each year more than 55,000 people are diagnosed – of which at least 300 are men. Early detection is invaluable as one in eight women will develop breast cancer.

In Chester 250 new cases are diagnosed each year and about 50 new patients are assessed in the Countess of Chester Hospital each week.

While most women are familiar with a mammogram image, the ultrasound is often used in younger patients, as the breast tissue is less fatty, thus ensuring a much clearer image.

By using an ultrasound scanner, diagnosis and further investigations and procedures can be performed.

Superintendent radiographer Sara Millington and community and events fundraiser Kathy Kenney

There is an exciting number of events lined up over the next few months supporting the Ultrasound Breast Scanner Appeal.

There will be an Easter egg sale and plant sale in April and May and the appeal has had numerous offers of help to organise events, including a treasure hunt, a footgolf tournament as well as another photo shoot in November.

Chester Operatic Society have already chosen to support the appeal as their Charity of the Year and will be singing at various concerts during the coming year promoting the appeal.

The Ultrasound Breast Care Scanner Appeal got off to an excellent start with the Trannon Valley Voices Choir who held a variety concert in November 2016. £1,050 was raised for two charities: Kerry Church and Countess of Chester Hospital Breast Care Trust Fund, with an additional £500 being donated to the hospital as match funding from HSBC.

Patient Gillian Evans said: “I underwent treatment for breast cancer at Countess of Chester last year and can only describe the care I received as first class throughout. From my referral, which was quite a scary time, to discharge, I had full confidence in the team, who were so approachable and helpful. One of the important things for me, living 90 minutes away from Chester, was that I could ring and speak to a breast nurse at any time.”

Gillian loves singing and decided to hold a fundraising event with her choir, but the choir had no conductor and no accompanist.

So she asked her daughter Angharad if she would have a go at leading the choir and then another member, a music student in Cardiff, offered to accompany the choir too.

Trannon Valley Voices Choir at their Variety Concert in November last year

Gillian added: “We had a brilliant evening, great support and great raffle prize donations.

“I am proud of what we achieved, and just as important to me is to spread the awareness of early treatment for breast cancer.

“I am delighted that the money we raised will go to start the new breast scanner appeal.”

Lots of help is needed from the local community and local businesses with this appeal.

If you are interested in helping the appeal please contact community and events fundraiser Kathy Kenney or corporate and events fundraising manager Hanna Clarke for more details by calling 01244 366240.

Kathy says: “Can your company choose the scanner as its Charity of the Year appeal, perhaps you would like to hold a coffee morning or a cake sale, walk the Wirral Walk in June or cycle the Liverpool to Chester Bike Ride in July?

“You may want to take a collecting tin to place at your local shop or club? Or join us on the longest Zip Wire Challenge in Europe at Bethesda, Snowdon? There are so many ways to help your local hospital. We are always very grateful to our supporters.”

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