“It has been wonderful to be part of this project and I’m grateful to have been given the chance to get involved and be able to give something back to say thank you.”

A former cancer patient who helped to raise more than £12,500 for the Blossom Appeal has described our new Breast Care Centre as a “wonderful, warm and inclusive” space which will make a huge difference to both patients and staff.

Laura Dolan, who lives in Melton, began supporting our fundraising campaign as a way of saying thank you for the treatment she received for triple negative breast cancer at Ipswich Hospital in 2017.

Since then, the mother-of-three has taken part in several sponsored events alongside her family and work colleagues, including our extreme abseil and super hero zip line, which both involved a leap of faith from the top of the hospital’s maternity block.

Laura was also part of a patient group which helped to shape the design and feel of the new centre, and was given a special tour before the unit opened so that she could see how her feedback had been used.

 “I was blown away when I saw the unit and actually felt quite emotional,” said Laura, who is now in remission. “The finished centre is just amazing, and even better than I was expecting. Everyone who has been involved in its development should feel incredibly proud as it will make a huge difference to patients and staff.

“There are lots of lovely little touches too, like bags to put your clothes in and wonderful artwork on the walls. The unit has such a good feel to it and is warm and inclusive, which will hopefully help to make people’s journeys through diagnosis and treatment more manageable.

“It’s fantastic that the hard-working staff now have a dedicated area to relax away from the clinics. There is also space where the volunteers can make teas and coffees for patients, which is so important as they play a really vital role by helping to make what can be a difficult time that little bit easier.

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