EMILY Montgomery was diagnosed with an invasive form of breast cancer a year ago, and now the determined 50-year-old has chosen to help a fundraising campaign aiming for swifter diagnosis for future patients.
The Royal Berks Charity is hoping to raise £47,000 to pay for a machine which allows tissue samples to be analysed in just one minute, and Emily, along with a local team of cancer patients and survivors, is hoping to help the charity reach its target by holding a coffee and cake morning in Newbury later this month.
Speaking to the Newbury Weekly News, Emily, from Highclere, said: “In many other places around the country they already have a Faxitron machine, but here in Berkshire patients have to wait about a week for their biopsy results to come back.
“And having gone through it myself, that week is the most horrendous week.
“You don’t eat, you don’t sleep, you have all of these imaginary conversations with yourself about how you’re going to tell people, and you still have to function at work.
“I’ve spoken to women in many, many support groups, many of whom have had the same experience.
“We just want to make sure that other women don’t have to go through the same thing.”
The Faxitron machine will allow clinicians to analyse tissue samples in the breast screening unit itself, meaning patients will have their diagnosis confirmed then and there.
Emily, whose treatment is ongoing, has gained support from family and friends as well as others who have been diagnosed with cancer.
Her son, Jacob, aged 29, has already raised £2,500 for the charity by completing a ‘dryathlon’ challenge during last year’s Rugby World Cup, and she is hoping to give the charity another big financial boost with her coffee morning at Newbury Town Hall.
“There’ll be about 10 of us on the morning, all of who have been diagnosed at one time or the other,” explained Emily, who currently works as director of nursing and quality for Care UK.
“There are also a lot of support groups who have agreed to bake cakes for us, while Marks and Spencer have generously donated cakes and coffee too.
“We just want as many people to come down as possible.
“I’ve been through it, I’m someone’s daughter, mother, aunty, friend... I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been affected by cancer and I just want everyone to realise that every little bit helps, whether it’s a pound or £500. It will all help us get this machine quicker.”
The Royal Berks Charity has been running the campaign for the last year and has so far raised £38,000 towards the machine.
Charity director Ian Thomson said: “We are indebted to the support from people in the community for this campaign.
“The Faxitron is going to make a huge difference to treatment given here at the Royal Berkshire Hospital. Not just to patients but also in terms of time-saving for the trust.
“We are about £38,000 towards the cost of the machine so we’re very very pleased with the way this campaign is going, and, more importantly, with the way the community has been behind it.”
The coffee, tea and cake morning will be held on Saturday, August 27, from 10am to noon at Newbury Town Hall.
To help Emily and her fundraising for the Faxitron machine visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Emily-Montgomery1