“Each time you make a donation to the charity, you are helping to support someone just like me.”

Friends of the Cancer Centre is proudly funding posts for fourteen fantastic clinical nurse specialists and research nurses who provide care across the whole pathway of cancer treatment. We know that the care of one of our nurses can make a vital difference to local people across Northern Ireland affected by cancer.

One such person is Gordon Dunlop, 70, from Belfast, who has been supported by our haematology clinical research nurse Emma. Following a diagnosis of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL), a cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow, Gordon took part in the FLAIR trial. The FLAIR trial involves a combination of chemotherapy and biology therapies, in order to find out The aims of this trial are to find out which treatment option provides the best outcomes for people affected by CLL. Gordon’s experience on the trial was a successful one, and he is now in remission.

We caught up with Gordon to find out more about the invaluable support that Emma has provided.

“I was diagnosed with CLL in April 2016 following a routine blood test. The diagnosis came as a shock since I considered myself to be both fit and healthy! An appointment with my Haematologist allayed my fears and I remained ‘normal’, in the sense that no medication was required, until spring 2019.

“That’s when I met Emma and the FLAIR Team. I was eligible for the FLAIR trial with new drugs and Emma has guided me through the whole process of investigations and blood tests. She dealt with all my concerns and queries efficiently and reassuringly, to the point where both my wife Barbara and I really look forward to our review meetings with her and the rest of the FLAIR team. Her bright and breezy personality is a real tonic during long hours of treatment.

“I am hugely grateful to Emma and the other FLAIR nurses, and indeed all the Haematology research staff who have treated me to date. From a patient perspective, it is vital to have a specialist nurse assigned to you who has a detailed knowledge of your case and can provide the reassurance needed to help you cope with a disease like CLL. Emma has done just that for me.

“The support that Friends of the Cancer Centre provides, not only through funding posts like Emma’s, but through providing everything from a free cup of tea to funding vital equipment, is invaluable. Each time you make a donation to the charity, you are being a friend and helping to support someone just like me, thank you.”

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