Tracey Fearon.JPGTracey Fearon from Cockermouth is to undertake a tandem skydive on ‘leap day’ next year to raise funds for the North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust’s breast services.

The team at West Cumberland Hospital supported Tracey through her treatment for breast cancer and having recently been given the all clear she felt she wanted to say thank you.

Tracey said: “The breast team at the West Cumberland Hospital were so lovely throughout my treatment, I felt like I got the very best care. Over eight months I had chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy and all the staff were incredibly caring and professional, I really felt looked after.”

Tracey wants to help support the current fundraising that is taking place for the Trust to buy some specialist equipment to help other people with breast cancer." 

She explained: “I recently got the all clear and I really wanted to give my thanks to the unit and also I wanted to do my bit to help others with breast cancer. I discovered that the Trust is raising funds for ‘radiofrequency tags’ so I decided to undertake a sponsored challenge and do my bit.

As next year is a leap year I thought that leaping out of a plane on ‘leap day’ (February 29th) would be a great way to raise funds.”

The specialist equipment that she is raising funds for helps surgeons locate a tumour prior to surgery and is less intrusive that the current procedure.

Dr Ludger Barthelmes explains:

“We are now able to diagnose breast cancer long before it presents as a palpable lump and many breast cancer patients are now treated with chemotherapy before surgery to shrink the tumour. So when it comes to surgery the tumour can no longer be felt. To help surgeons locate the tumour the radiologist currently inserts a soft guidewire into the abnormality under local anaesthetic on the day of surgery. Following surgery another procedure needs to be undertaken to remove the guidewire.

“The equipment that we’re raising money for is called ‘radiofrequency seed localisation’. These are small metallic pellets about the size of a rice grain which are inserted into the tumour weeks or even months before surgery. On the day of surgery a special probe detects the radio-signal the 'seed pellet' emits and enables the surgeon to localise the tumour.”

This method is less intrusive for the patient and people will spend less time in hospital.

Tracey, who works as a nurse practitioner in Castlegate Surgery Cockermouth has already raised more than £600.

She said: “I set up a just giving account and by promoting that I have already raised £635. I have had enormous support from my work colleagues family and friends. I’m really grateful to everyone who has already given and if more people could be as kind as to sponsor me then we can hopefully buy this equipment as soon as possible. I have fully funded the tandem skydive myself so that all contributions go to the charity.” 

Anyone who would like to sponsor Tracey is invited to do so through her Just Giving page or giving a donation at Derwent Surgery or Salon 5 in Cockermouth.


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