Kay Phoenix, littlelifts operations and events executive, Louise Smith, Macmillan information specialist and centre manager at Ipswich Hospital, littlelifts founder Oa Hackett and Macmillan oncology breast nurse specialist at Ipswich Hospital Rachel Clifton.
Women will be given a much-needed boost as they go through breast cancer treatment after a charity teamed up with the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT).
As Breast Cancer Awareness Month draws to a close, Norfolk-based breast cancer charity littlelifts has delivered 30 comfort boxes to Ipswich Hospital, with more to follow in the coming year. It aims to support women with primary breast cancer who face chemotherapy as part of their treatment.
With help from women who have undergone chemotherapy, the packages are full of specially selected items to help alleviate some of its side effects. It is also hoped receiving the comfort box will have a positive impact on patients’ wellbeing at what can be a difficult time.
Macmillan oncology breast nurse specialist Rachel Clifton, based at Ipswich Hospital, said:
Ladies diagnosed with primary breast cancer who then have to have chemotherapy can find it overwhelming, but we hope being able to offer a bespoke package of treats and practical items will help to ease this tough time.
The boxes contain a variety of practical items, including a soft toothbrush and lolly recipes and moulds because chemotherapy can leave mouths sore and painful, a water bottle and cordial. They are also packed with other treats such as herbal tea, chocolate, sweets and a notebook and pen.
The delivery to the hospital’s Woolverstone Wing was made possible thanks to a £20,000 donation to littlelifts from Art for Cure which funds national research into cures and treatments for breast cancer.
Oa Hackett founded littlelifts after experiencing primary breast cancer first-hand, she was diagnosed in 2014 at the age of 28.
Lots of family and friends put together thoughtful packages for me and that’s what inspired littlelifts. I wanted to use my own experience of breast cancer treatment in a way to help other women going through chemotherapy.
We are proud to have developed hospital partnerships across three hospitals in Norfolk and Suffolk, with our third being Ipswich Hospital. Our hope is that we can develop further hospital relationships and support many more women in the years to come.
Louise Smith, Macmillan information specialist and centre manager at Ipswich Hospital, said:
It gives people, as the name suggests, an emotional and positive lift, it’s such a lovely present they are getting.
Primary breast cancer is breast cancer which has not spread beyond the breast or lymph nodes under the arm.