Express & Star

Bilston cancer patient raises £1,700 to help other patients have more comfortable stay in hospital

A compassionate cancer patient has raised £1,700 to pay for electronic devices to enable others battling the disease to have a more comfortable stay in hospital.

Carol Beddow with her grandchildren Trent Beddow and Myles Beddow, alongside staff from The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust.

Carol Beddow from Bilston has lung cancer, but it hasn’t stopped her organising two fundraising events to benefit cancer patients.

The events have paid for 10 iPads and six Kindles for patients at New Cross Hospital, part of The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust.

Helped by grandsons Trent Beddow, aged 15, and Myles Beddow, 12, Carol put on a fun day with a bouncy castle, bingo, a raffle and competitions which raised £1,342.60 and a coffee morning which raised £351.

Carol, who has received all her treatment at New Cross in the last three years, says she won’t stop in her efforts until all 52 beds across both Snowdrop Unit and Durnall Unit at The Deanesly Centre have a device each.

Carol says she was inspired by her grandsons after coming home following one of her treatment sessions.

“I happened to say how there wasn’t much to do while you’re sitting there having chemotherapy for six hours, with no TV or books, and one of my grandsons said ‘why don’t you organise a fundraiser?’” Carol said.

“Trent wrote letters appealing for support and put together a GoFundMe page which brought in a lot of donations and Myles wrote flyers and sent them out. My boys are my rocks and I’m very proud of them – they’ve even sold raffle tickets to their friends.

“I’d also like to say a huge thank you to The Grapes Bar and Grill of Moseley Road, Bilston, because they gave us the venue free of charge for the fun day and donated a bike worth £500 for the raffle, and staff at the pub are still collecting for us now.

“But the whole community has been amazing – Tesco gave us prizes for the raffle and tombola and the whole of Bilston and Willenhall have helped us raise these funds. It’s been pure kindness from everyone.”

Just as impressive is that the money was raised in three weeks, when the boys – who live in Bolton, Greater Manchester – were staying with Carol on their school summer holidays.

Helen Bishop, charge nurse in the Deanesly Oncology Unit, said: “It’s lovely to be able to receive gifts on behalf of the patients. It’s so kind of Carol.”

Carol was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma – a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the lymph system – in 2020, and although she received the all-clear, her last scan revealed a dot on her lung.

Unfortunately this cannot be operated on as it’s too close to her heart, so she only has a month left of two years’ worth of immunotherapy – “my miracle drug”, says Carol – and is still to find out what will happen next.

But she is being buoyed by the fundraising.

“It was just a little thank you because the staff have been amazing, but if people see this, they might be inspired to raise funds because it’s needed – we have 16 devices so far and we need 52.”

The devices were received by The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust Charity and distributed to the units.

Amie Rogers, fundraising and lead digital engagement officer at the charity, said: “It’s amazing what Carol and her grandsons have done and we thank them wholeheartedly. This will really benefit our cancer patients while they are receiving their treatment.”