Generous donations have funded a new piece of radiotherapy equipment at the North Wales Cancer Treatment Centre, Glan Clwyd Hospital.
A new Radiotherapy Linac machine, which uses high energy x-rays to treat cancer patients, has been bought thanks to donations from the North Wales Cancer Appeal and Awyr Las.
The cutting edge machine, which has been installed at a cost of £1.7m, is capable of a wide range of complex radiation therapy procedures, and will help future-proof treatments at the cancer centre for at least the next ten years.
The North Wales Cancer Appeal, formerly the Ron & Margaret Smith Appeal, donated £950,000 towards the new Linac machine.
The remaining £750,000 was funded by donations given to the North Wales Cancer Treatment Centre through Awyr Las, including a legacy of more than £500,000 left in the will of a Deganwy resident in recognition of the care she received in North Wales.
The North Wales Cancer Treatment Centre now has four Linac machines, all in use on a daily basis to treat hundreds of people from across North Wales.
Linac machines use high energy x-rays to destroy cancerous cells, focussing radiation on small areas at a time to leave surrounding tissue untouched by radiation. The new Linac can treat tissue anywhere on the body, as well as on the skin’s surface.
Carmel Barnett, Radiotherapy Services Manager, said: “Radiation therapy is continually changing and improving, and Linac machines are used in new and innovative ways.
“It means we can continue to deliver the most up to date treatments using the latest equipment. Patients can rest assured knowing they don’t have to go outside of North Wales for really high quality cancer treatment.
“Having the support of causes like the North Wales Cancer Appeal and Awyr Las is absolutely invaluable.”
The North Wales Cancer Appeal raised the £950,000 donated through the efforts of hard working volunteers over many years following in the late Margaret Smith’s footsteps.
Katy Powell-Jones, Chairman of the newly branded North Wales Cancer Appeal, said: “We are delighted and proud of the efforts made by The Ron & Margaret Smith Appeal which made this hugely significant donation possible.
“Without their efforts this long awaited day might not have come. The new appeal Committee is now working hard to follow the example of these long standing volunteers.
“I am pleased to say with the profile of the new charity rising daily, we are now well on our way to our next target of £100,000 which we have set ourselves, through fund raising and donations.
“We are pleased to be able to contribute to such a worthwhile cause which directly benefits the cancer patients of North Wales.”
The new Linac machine was also part-funded by a £540,000 donation from Mrs Doreen Elizabeth Partington. The former Deganwy resident, known to her friends and family as Liz, left the donation following her death in January 2015, having received treatment after being diagnosed with cancer ten years ago.
Mrs Partington, who moved to Deganwy with her late husband Thomas after retiring, left the residue of her estate to be divided between 12 local and national charities, with the largest bequest going to the North Wales Cancer Treatment Centre.
John Owen Jones, a retired solicitor and executor of Mrs Partington’s will, said: “The couple, who had never had children, wanted to give back to the area that they moved to almost 40 years ago.
“Mrs Partington was a private, reserved lady who was clearly very grateful for the treatment she had received a decade ago.
“I’m sure Mrs Partington would be immensely proud of the huge contribution that she and her husband have been able to make to the cancer centre. It’s wonderful that so many people will benefit from her extreme generosity.”
The remainder of the funding for the Linac machine came through donations given to the North Wales Cancer Treatment Centre through the North Wales NHS Charity, Awyr Las.
Kirsty Thomson, Head of Fundraising for Awyr Las said: “Donations given through the charity help fund everything from state-of-the-art medical equipment like the Linac, to wigs and headwear for patients, complementary therapies, innovative research projects, and more comfortable treatment and rest areas for patients.
“All of which goes above and beyond what the NHS is able to provide, and makes a huge difference to an ever increasing number of patients every year.”
For further information on The North Wales Cancer Appeal visit www.northwalescancerappeal.co.uk