Jacqui’s Million fundraising buys vital cancer equipment

Tireless fundraiser Jacqui Drake has started to see the benefit of her efforts after the first part of her fundraising has been used by Leeds Cancer Centre to fund vital equipment to support those being treated.

Nearly £110,000 was allocated to purchase ten scalp coolers; these innovative caps can work towards reducing hair loss for patients during chemotherapy however they are not routinely funded by the NHS. The new state-of-the-art cooling caps will replace equipment that is over a decade old.

The second project identified by Leeds Cares will use a further £56,000 of Jacqui’s fundraising to fund a specific nurse position for a 12-month period. The lead nurse post, for Systemic Anti-Cancer Therapy (SACT) was filled by Alyson Beckett. Jacqui got the chance to meet Alyson at the Cancer Centre where the cooling caps will be used by patients undergoing treatment.

She said “Being able to see the impact of my fundraising absolutely makes all the hard work worthwhile. As a patient myself, my ethos is all about positivity and finding the good in a difficult situation. I’m determined to keep fundraising for Leeds Cares and reach that million pound target to continue making improvements at the Leeds Cancer Centre for as many future patients as possible.”

Nurse Alyson Beckett said patients like Jacqui were a real inspiration to the team. “The NHS does an incredible job but everyone knows funding is not endless so we do need that extra bit of support from our charity. Fundraisers who spend their time dedicated to generating money in order to help us out are truly fantastic, especially when, like Jacqui, they’re already dealing with their own treatment journey.”

The ‘Jacqui’s Million’ appeal is raising money specifically to support the Leeds Cancer Centre through Leeds Cares, the official charity partner of Leeds Teaching Hospitals. After being diagnosed with secondary cancer in 2009, Jacqui has been receiving treatment in Leeds and her cancer is now classified as malignant stage 4. To see Jacqui’s upcoming fundraising events, visit her facebook page.