Pancreatic cancer patients in Ipswich and East Suffolk can access vital support to help them deal with some of the stress, pain and financial pressures the disease can cause.
The Elizabeth Coteman Fund offers emotional support, friendship, advocacy and an opportunity to talk for those experiencing pancreatic cancer, as well as their families. Financial grants are also available in some cases.
The charity was founded in 2010 by Elizabeth Coteman’s husband Gerald and has linked up with Macmillan Cancer Support and the John Le Vey Cancer Support and Information Centre at Ipswich Hospital, to offer a service for people needing help.
Leaflets have been launched advertising the charity and can be found in the Cancer Information Centre within the hospital. They can also be accessed through the Cancer Information Centre at Colchester Hospital.
Mr Coteman, who is the charity’s director, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the progress the charity has made in nine years and we are looking forward to forging a relationship with Macmillan staff at Ipswich Hospital and the volunteers that work in the John Le Vey Centre.
“Patients coming to Ipswich Hospital already receive high quality care and it is great to work in partnership with the Macmillan nurses to support them in other ways.
“Our grant programme can help patients and families if they are experiencing financial pressures, helping them with travel expenses or money to buy new clothes, for instance, if they no longer fit into the ones they wear.
“If the fund can support just one family in the area then we will be happy.”
Sam Garnham from Ipswich, whose father Steven Pipe passed away from pancreatic cancer, is a supporter of the charity.
Sam said: “We went into the experience blind, nobody in our family had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer before and everything was unknown and daunting.
“As a family member, to be able to speak to someone who has been through a similar experience, it reassures you that you are doing the best you can.
“To be able to offer a patient the best quality of life possible is so important, as pancreatic cancer is hard to diagnose and often it is too late for treatment that is going to have a long-lasting effect on them.”
Louise Smith, Cancer Information Nurse Specialist and John Le Vey Cancer Centre Manager, said: “Peer support is invaluable. Sometimes, it’s difficult to understand what people are going through, unless they have experienced something similar.”
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