Breast cancer patient makes special visit to unit – 10 years to the day since diagnosis

Exactly 10 years to the day since being diagnosed with breast cancer – a woman from Hartlepool returned to the same hospital where she was told the news to make a special donation.

Donation in the chemo unitClaire Addison was told she had cancer after a visit to the breast unit at the University Hospital of Hartlepool on 4 November, 2011 – a day she will never forget.

In the following months, she received treatment at the hospital to have surgery and chemotherapy care as well as radiotherapy care at the James Cook University Hospital.

Returning for an emotional visit to the hospital’s chemotherapy unit a decade later, she presented the team with a donation of more than £1,100 – to be split evenly between the chemo unit and the breast unit.

This was raised after Claire – with the help of her dog Finn and her partner Bob Menzies – walked more than 100 miles in a month around Hartlepool and the surrounding area.

Rosie and Karen in front of wall in chemo unitClaire, along with her partner Bob, also presented a special gift to chemotherapy nurse Rosie Livingston and breast care nurse Karen Milburn – a heart with the words: “Thank you for being such an important part of my story”.

Claire said: “Returning to the hospital on the same day, exactly 10 years later, is very emotional.

“I’ll never forget that day.

“Thanks to these amazing staff I had successful treatment.

“That’s not only due to the care and treatment they gave but also the psychological support the whole team offered me over many years. They were always here for me, when I had doubts or setbacks, they were fantastic.”

Claire also has two sons, Luke Addison who is now 22 and Hayden Menzies who is 13.

Claire added: “Luke remembers when I was diagnosed but Hayden was too young.

“These things are hard for everyone, thanks to the staff I have been able to deal with it all.”

Speaking from the chemotherapy unit, nurse Rosie said: “We are so touched by Claire’s thoughtful gift and donation.

“We have highs and lows in this unit, we do everything we can to help every patient we treat.

“Claire has made a fantastic recovery and is living life to the full. We were so pleased to see her and would like to thank all of her friends and family who donated towards the fundraising total.”

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