No mountain high enough for Beatson fund raisers

GroupTherapists.Friends of Beatson. June2012
GroupTherapists.Friends of Beatson. June2012

THERAPISTS from the Friends of Beatson Centre, which was set up by two former patients from Milngavie, raised £1,500 for the charity by conquering Ben Nevis recently.

The five colleagues did the gruelling walk on Saturday, June 16 to raise cash for the facility, which was created by Ian Dickson and Alan Kilpatrick to make the lives of cancer patients better.

Friends of the Beatson Centre receives around 200 visitors a week, offering among other things, a range of complementary therapies including massage, reiki, indian head massage, hypnotherapy and chiropody to in-patients.

Chairman Ian and director Alan opened in their facility in the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre building on Great Western Road in 2007.

Ian (62) was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1988 and, after surgery, attended the Beatson for radiotherapy, five days each week for a month.

He became aware of the high standard of care and attention which the Beatson gave and that he was one of the fortunate ones - the vast majority of patients he saw and talked to were a lot worse off than he was.

Ian was keen to give something back and became actively involved in another cancer charity, Tak Tent, and this was how he met Alan who had also had testicular cancer.

Having had treatment for cancer, surgery and chemotherapy, in 1985 aged just 19, Alan (46) became involved in cancer charity work shortly thereafter, initially as treasurer for Tak Tent, just to “put something back”.

When Ian was asked in 1994 whether he was interested in setting up a group to form a ‘Friends of’ type charity he asked Alan if he would be interested in setting up a centre which would offer practical comfort and support for patients.

Ian said: “We are always extremely grateful to anyone willing to donate their time and energy to help raise funds for Friends of the Beatson.

“It is especially encouraging to see members of staff, who already put so much effort in to making the charity a success, doing so.”

The walk was arranged by Claire Dykes from Cambuslang, who has worked at the centre offering reiki, massage and relaxation since September 2008.

Claire said: “It is a privilege to help patients with cancer, in some way making them feel extra special - this is just our small way of giving something back.

“Massage is one of the oldest and simplest forms of care used to ease pain and anxiety and promote good health.

“It is wonderful to see so many of our patients benefiting from it and I know we will continue to put our skills to good use after completing this challenge.”

Since 1995, Friends of the Beatson has raised approximately £2,500,000.

For more information go to www.friendsofthebeatson.org