Former Peterborough City Hospital cancer patient raises £22,000 to support current patients receiving care

Lesley Kalina and Laura Doyle
Lesley Kalina and Laura Doyle
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A former cancer patient at Peterborough City Hospital has raised more than £22,000 to support current patients receiving care

Lesley Kalina from Peterborough began fundraising for the hospital after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2011 and has spent the last eight years staging various charity events, including a pyjama party, curry nights, cake sales and a lottery to raise money.

Over the years her donations have bought reclining chairs to enable relatives to stay with their loved one while they are undergoing treatment, 12 fridges for the patient rooms, syringe drivers, drug trolleys and most recently drip stands.

Lesley said: “It all started with a donation of £200 and grew from there. Each year I work with friends, family, and local businesses to organise fundraising activities, with all the money going towards purchasing equipment that benefits both the patients and the staff.”

In addition, Lesley has also created care bags for patients having their first session of chemotherapy on the Haematology/Oncology Day Unit. The packs are full of uplifting and useful treats, including lip balm, hand gel, tissues, sweets, a heat pack, a four leaf clover for good luck and much more.

“The bag contains items that I would have appreciated on my first day of chemotherapy, including a letter from myself sharing what I learned through my experience,” said Lesley. “The first day of treatment can be scary, but I hope the care bags will help people feel more comfortable.

“I have also started to make up bags for patients admitted to the Haematology/Oncology Ward, providing them with basic necessities, such as toiletries as well as home comforts like eye masks and puzzle books.”

Laura Doyle, ward manager on the Haematology/Oncology Ward, said: “Lesley has a unique perspective as a former patient and really sees things from the view of the patient. Her fundraising efforts have enabled us to purchase equipment that enhances the patient’s experience and makes their stay with us more comfortable.

“The care bags that Lesley is making for patients are superb and full of items to make the experience of being in hospital more comfortable and homely. We have received lots of positive feedback from patients saying how much they appreciated the bag.

“We can’t thank Lesley enough for everything that she has done for the department and our patients.”

If you would like to get involved and support Lesley’s efforts, visit her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/makeanddonate.