A gardening expert who describes the cancer care she received from East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) as “exemplary” has given her backing to a charity appeal to help fund a new breast care centre at Ipswich Hospital.

Ruth Goudy, who runs Kiln Farm Nursery and Garden Centre in Kesgrave alongside husband Paul, was diagnosed with breast cancer in March following her first routine mammogram. The 52-year-old is now in remission after having surgery and radiotherapy.

To say thank you for the care she received, Ruth is throwing her weight behind the Blossom Appeal. Run by Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity, the appeal is raising money towards a state-of-the-art breast care centre which will bring together all elements of breast care under one roof and make visits much easier for patients.

The charity is asking for the public’s support to raise the final funds needed to complete the project and pay for extra touches to help patients feel as comfortable as possible when they come for treatment, such as artwork for the waiting areas and corridors.

“The care I received has been absolutely amazing and far exceeded my expectations,” said Ruth, who has shared her story during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. “I was given a dedicated nurse who explained everything to me and urged me to call straight away if anything was worrying me. Her kind face and gentle voice was such a reassurance and I am very grateful to her.

“However many questions I asked about my treatment, the staff were always happy to help. They also gave me leaflets about each stage of my treatment which meant I had something to check on if I forgot anything or began to worry.

“If I started to feel stressed, I would spend 15 minutes in the hospital garden. I love plants so found this so therapeutic, and one day I was even able to do a bit of dead heading!

 “I really welcome the Blossom Appeal and would encourage people to support it if they can, as bringing everything into one place would help to reduce stress for patients. I had my radiotherapy in the Woolverstone Macmillan Centre and found that environment really lovely – it would be great to replicate a similar feel in the new breast care centre.

 “Everyone’s cancer journey is different and there is no single answer as to how to cope as everyone finds their own way. For me, the kindness of everyone at Ipswich Hospital had a huge impact and I cannot praise them highly enough.

“Life is precious, and I feel like they have given me it back. I am so grateful and always will be.”

Work on the breast care centre is due for completion this winter. 

Read more inspiring stories and follow Blossom Appeal progress