A new specialist Breast Surgery Care Unit is now open to patients at Rugby’s Hospital of St Cross thanks to an ‘inspirational’ fundraiser who has terminal cancer.
The facility, called the Laurel Unit, has come to fruition thanks to Arden Angels, a group of dedicated fundraisers led by Rugbeian Tracie Mills, with support from UHCW Charity and the Friends of St Cross.
Arden Angels Nickie Brightwell, Rebecca Bowley, Karen and Derek Owen, along with Andy Hardy, CEO of UHCW Trust, attended the opening of the new unit, located in the Rainsbrook Wing.
Nickie said: “Tracie was unable to attend the opening due to ill health, but we know she was there in spirit.”
As well as nurse-led clinics, reconstruction and plastic surgery, new services include nipple areolar tattooing as well as Macmillan funded breast surgery physiotherapy and bespoke pilates group classes.
Arden Angels have raised more than £80,000 for UHCW Charity to support breast surgery clinics and have already provided 20 new chemo chairs at the Arden Centre through a series of community-based fundraisers, while the Friends of St Cross donated almost £47,500 to fund furniture and specialist equipment.
Katherina McEvoy, Consultant Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon and Clinical Service Lead for Breast Surgery, said: “We’re delighted to be able to provide a welcoming environment to support patients during an extremely anxious time. Many of the people we care for are having surgical procedures linked to cancer so, together with the new Maple Unit – which provides chemotherapy and regular tests – we are bringing together a comprehensive range of services to further enhance the patient experience.”
Doug Jones, Chair of the Friends of St Cross, said: “We were thrilled when Katherina approached us with this proposal and were keen to support this exciting development.”
Jo O’Sullivan, UHCW Charity Director, added: “As a cancer patient herself, still being treated in both the Maple Unit and the Arden Centre, Tracie knows first-hand how this service will help to further improve the environment and services provided for fellow breast cancer patients. We cannot thank her and her Angels enough for all that they do.”