Brighter Futures is celebrating the first anniversary of its appeal to bring radiotherapy to Swindon with the news that almost £2,000 has been donated every day since its launch.
With the current total standing at £685,000, the equivalent of £1,872 has been raised each day since hundreds of coloured balloons were released to mark the start of the Radiotherapy Appeal on May 28 last year.
The £2.9 million appeal will fund the equipment at the heart of a new Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust radiotherapy unit on the Great Western Hospital site.
There has been an outpouring of generosity and support from the Swindon community during the first year, with thousands of fundraisers taking part in various sporting events, jumping out of planes, holding tea parties, dressing up as superheroes and even rowing the Atlantic Ocean.
Those with a personal experience of cancer and the long journey needed for treatment have taken the appeal to their hearts.
Helen Clarke took part in Brighter Futures’ Superhero Run earlier this month, having recently undergone a double mastectomy after doctors confirmed she had the breast cancer gene BRCA2.
She said: “My mum has beaten breast cancer twice. The first time she was able to get herself to and from Oxford with the help of this ancient blue Mini my dad had bought for her.
“But the second time around, she struggled with the illness more and there’s no way she’d have been able to get to Oxford on her own. Survivng breast cancer not just once but twice is amazing, she’s my hero.
“When I was recovering from surgery, I needed something to aim for. As soon as I heard about the Radiotherapy Appeal, I knew I had to do something. Bringing this treatment closer to home is now firmly on my list.”
Local businesses and charitable groups have also been moved to support the cause that will save cancer patients hours of relentless travel to and from the existing centres in Oxford and Bath.
Malmesbury League of Friends donated not one but two cheques for £25,000, while new Mayor of Swindon Eric Shaw recently chose Brighter Futures as one of his mayoral charities for the coming year.
Kevin McNamara, Trustee for Brighter Futures, said: “This first year has been really phenomenal and everyone involved has been completely blown away by the response we’ve had from local people and businesses.
“What’s important now is that we remain focused on raising the money to provide the people of Swindon with a radiotherapy unit that will be used for generations to come.”
“There’s a long way to go before we reach £2.9 million but I have every confidence that with the help of our supporters we’ll get to where we need to be.”
Anyone wishing to support the Radiotherapy Appeal can find out how to donate by visiting the Brighter Futures website, www.brighterfuturesgwh.nhs.uk.