The football world is supporting an appeal by N&N Hospitals Charity to purchase a piece of equipment which could transform the way some ovarian cancer patients are treated in Norfolk.
Former England, West Ham, Chelsea and Liverpool footballer Joe Cole has led the way, speaking of his support for the charity’s gynae VOiCE campaign which supports women going through gynaecological cancers, including vulval, ovarian, cervical and endometrial.
In particular, the charity is looking to purchase a piece of equipment which would provide hyperthermic intraperotoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) – this is a hot chemotherapy bath to the abdomen that is given at the end of surgery. This is now performed in many specialist centres in Europe for advanced ovarian cancer, but is not widely available in UK.
The campaign has been spearheaded by fundraiser David Giess who has worked in the football industry and whose wife, Anne, is being treated for ovarian cancer at the N&N.
Joe Cole urged everyone to support the VOiCE appeal: “My dear friend is currently being treated at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital for ovarian cancer.
“I have witnessed and been told of the excellent work being carried out by Mr Burbos, Dr Wade and all the team in the Gynaecology and Oncology wards in regards to cancer treatments.
“I have donated to the hospital’s VOiCE campaign to raise funds for new equipment to help future victims of this awful disease. Please join me in supporting this appeal and give what you can.”
The hospital charity is holding a prize draw next month with a fantastic line-up of football-related prizes. They include an England shirt signed by Gareth Southgate, Spurs shirt signed by Harry Kane, and signed shirts from Manchester United, Norwich, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal, and a West Ham captain Mark Noble match-worn shirt. There is also a signed Jurgen Klopp cap, signed footballs and many more prizes. All funds will go towards the purchase of the HIPEC equipment and other equipment that can help gynaecological patients.
Mr Nikos Burbos, Consultant Gynaecological Oncologist, said: “It is always humbling when patients and their families choose to support the hospital charity in what are often difficult times for them.
“David and his family have worked incredibly hard to fundraise for the gynae department and, in particular, to enable us to purchase innovative equipment which would otherwise be unavailable to the team.
“It is fantastic to hear how Joe Cole and all the football clubs which have donated items are supporting our hospital and our department to benefit the patients we treat and their families.”
Raffle tickets are available from the hospitals charity by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or will be on sale at The Forum in Norwich on Saturday 23rd March from 10am until 3pm.
Around 7,400 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the UK each year and more than 4,100 women die from it each year. March is ovarian cancer awareness month and the N&N are hopes to raise awareness of the cancer which is often known as a “silent killer” because up to 60% of women are diagnosed once the cancer has already spread.