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Spotlight

FREE – PLEASE TAKE A COPY ISSUE 9 / 2019


FRIENDS OF ANCHOR

WHAT THE CHARITY DOES

Helping to make North-east cancer and haematology care the best it can be.

The clinics and wards of the Aberdeen and North-east Centre for Haematology, Oncology and Radiotherapy (ANCHOR) Unit operate within Aberdeen Royal Infirmary to treat patients with all forms of cancer, leukaemia and benign blood disorders.

MEDICAL EQUIPMENT Investing in the latest technology, over and above what NHSG provides, to continually develop and improve cancer diagnosis and treatment.

PATIENT WELLBEING Offering additional care, comfort and support to cancer and haematology patients during their time in hospital.

LEADING CANCER RESEARCH Funding local cancer research to push the boundaries in the fight against cancer.

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Spotlight Issue 9 / 2019


CHAIRMAN’S MESSAGE

JIM MILNE

HELLO AND WELCOME TO EDITION NINE OF SPOTLIGHT MAGAZINE.

As we go to print with this edition of the magazine, I’m filled with gratitude for what has been an amazing year for the charity. At the start of 2019, we set ourselves our most ambitious target yet – to raise £2m in two years for our ANCHORED Together appeal. As I write this, with two months left in the year, we’re just a fraction away from the pivotal halfway mark, having raised over £925,000 so far for The ANCHOR Centre. Outwith our £2m appeal, the need for vital funding support from Friends of ANCHOR continues. As with every year that passes, we are passionately committed to delivering on our three core funding areas, to meet the needs of patients here and now. We couldn’t have raised what we have for the appeal so far as well as fulfilling our ongoing funding commitments for the ANCHOR Unit without our fundraisers, donors and volunteers. My heartfelt thanks go to each and every one who has supported the charity this year. To see what the fundraising team has been up to, turn to page 20 for highlights from our

two most recent events, our Masked Ball and ANCHOR Wipeout. On page 22 we have some dates for your diary and hope you will join us over the winter months as we fly the flag for Friends of ANCHOR at various events.

and haematology research right here in the North-east. On page 14 we delve deeper into a pilot research project funded by the charity, which holds promising results for potential new treatments.

Alongside fundraising, we’ve been driving forward new initiatives to further deliver impact and support for patients. In August we embarked on a new partnership with NHS Grampian; the patient transport service which you can read about on page 6.

Looking forward to 2020, we have lots of ways for you to get involved and make a difference. On page 22 we have inspiration for your new year’s resolutions, and if you’re planning your Christmas shopping, we have plenty to choose from on page 9 – even a thoughtful gift for the person who has everything.

The charity’s wellbeing team has welcomed new faces to the group as we continue to expand the service. On page 7 you can read an interview with one of our newest members, our massage therapist Lucy Alphonse. Committee member and senior charge nurse Kerry Bakewell features on page 10, sharing her insight on Friends of ANCHOR funding and support in the haematology inpatient ward where she works. For an update on charity-funded equipment, turn to page 18 where you can read about our £20k investment in a new microscope which has provided a vital boost to oncology

The festivities continue with our exciting partnership with Aberdeen Inspired – we’re delighted to be the chosen charity for this year’s Aberdeen Christmas Village and to celebrate, we’re bringing a festive silent disco tour to Aberdeen. With limited spaces, be sure to book early (see page 8) for some extra special festive fun supporting one of your favourite charities! With the next edition of Spotlight not due until February, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones the warmest blessings over Christmas and all the very best for 2020.

www.friendsofanchor.org

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE

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PATIENT TRANSPORT SERVICE

PIONEERING RESEARCH

PARTNERSHIP WORKING WITH NHSG

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LUCY ALPHONSE

ETHEL’S STORY

A DAY IN THE LIFE

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FEELING FESTIVE

SILENT DISCO ADVENTURES AND CHRISTMAS SHOPPING

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IN FOCUS

INVESTING IN CUTTINGEDGE EQUIPMENT

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KERRY BAKEWELL

MASKED BALL AND ANCHOR WIPEOUT

RECENT EVENTS

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GEMMA CAMERON

SAVE THE DATE

AT THE HEART OF IT

Spotlight Issue 9 / 2019

PATIENT PERSPECTIVE

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UNDER THE LENS

ANCHOR WITH US


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PARTNERSHIP WORKING WITH NHSG

PATIENT TRANSPORT SERVICE FRIENDS OF ANCHOR HAS PARTNERED WITH NHS GRAMPIAN TO PROVIDE A NEW TRANSPORT SERVICE FOR PATIENTS WHO REQUIRE LIFESAVING TREATMENT IN GLASGOW.

The new initiative got on the road in August, allowing for easier, more comfortable and personable transport for patients with blood cancers who need to travel to Glasgow for a transplant. Already, the service has benefitted dozens of patients. The service relies on the generosity of Friends of ANCHOR volunteers, who use the brand new, NHS-supplied car to drive ANCHOR Unit patients to appointments or treatment at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.

patients to focus on recovery, meaning there is one less thing to worry about. It’s a dedicated service, with the priority on the patient; you cannot get better than that.”

service to run. The gift of time is a precious one and our heartfelt thanks is extended to all those who have joined the volunteer driver service thus far.”

The patient-led service also features provisions such as pillows, blankets, fruit and anti-sickness remedies to keep passengers comfortable while they travel.

Patients can book their travel in advance by contacting the NHS Grampian Haematology Clinic and Day Unit at Ward 307 on 01224 553357. If the patient transport service is not available or booked for a patient’s requested date, alternative transport will be provided by NHS Grampian.

Former patient and Friends of ANCHOR volunteer Yvonne Mitchell knows only too well the benefits a service like this can bring, having made numerous trips to Glasgow while she underwent a stem cell transplant herself.

Volunteer driver Iain Barclay said: “To be able to gift time to carry out a patient transfer during a challenging time in the patient’s treatment, is a very rewarding experience. Travelling to and from the central belt in relative comfort from ARI will hopefully reduce the patient’s anxiety and give them a personalised experience of feeling well looked after.”

Yvonne, who received the life-saving treatment three-and-a-half years ago, said: “Travelling up and down to Glasgow every week after my stem cell transplant was extremely tiring. There was no way I could drive myself, therefore I relied on my husband Scott and my dad who looked after our three daughters every Sunday for the best part of a year.”

Friends of ANCHOR’s development manager Kirsten Will added: “This latest partnership initiative with NHS Grampian looks to strengthen our endeavour and shared goal of delivering the best support for patients. The driver service is patient-led, making things more personal and we certainly hope it makes a difference for those patients who benefit from it.

Having now completed her treatment, Yvonne added: “Having this new transport service is fantastic. It will make life that little bit easier for

“Alongside the patients, the drivers are at the heart of this service and we are extremely grateful for their dedication to enable this

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Spotlight Issue 9 / 2019

To find out more about volunteering for the patient transport service please contact patienttransport@friendsofanchor.org

Our heartfelt thanks to those volunteer drivers who have signed up so far: Andrew Wylie, Anne Armstrong, Eleanor Noble, George Slesser, John Hamilton, Iain Barclay, Margaret and Stuart Groundwater, Moray Stewart, Robert Walker, Doug Winchester, Gordon and Lynn Bradley and James Shearer.


A DAY IN THE LIFE

LUCY ALPHONSE WORKING FOUR DAYS A WEEK, LUCY IS OUR NAIL AND MASSAGE THERAPIST, OFFERING PATIENTS SOME WELCOME RELAXATION AND DISTRACTION WHILE THEY ARE IN THE ANCHOR UNIT.

How did you first become involved with Friends of ANCHOR? I had followed Friends of ANCHOR on its social channels for a while and when the job was advertised, I knew I wanted to get involved. I had attended an oncology workshop, so that really inspired me to start a different journey with my massage career. Friends of ANCHOR put me through my official oncology massage training and I’m so happy to be part of the team making a difference to patients. How would you describe the massage and nail service that is offered within the ANCHOR Unit? Friends of ANCHOR offers many different wellbeing services including hair and wig styling, podiatry and time out sessions, and the nail and massage treatments are an important part of the service. Patients are welcome to sit and have their nails filed or painted and it offers a chance for some relaxation and distraction to break up time spent in their chemotherapy chair or room on the inpatient wards. When patients are going through cancer treatment, they can feel pretty low and not very glamorous, even gents feel like that too, so I think spending time with them to provide massage or do their nails lets them take a moment to relax. What does a typical day at Friends of ANCHOR look like for you? I start my day at 9:30am and usually head to ward 310 first – the ANCHOR outpatient chemotherapy clinic. There are always patients who are keen to make the

most of a little treat, so I get stuck in as soon as I get to the clinic. In the Radiotherapy department patients will sometimes pre-book a massage or nail treatment, and there’s a designated nail bar provided by Friends of ANCHOR in the department, which brings an extra touch of pampering and an atmosphere that feels a world away from the clinical environment. I usually finish my day with a visit to the oncology and haematology inpatient wards to visit anyone there who would like an arm, leg or foot massage from the comfort of their bed. My day is spent with patients, talking to them and getting to know them more. I get the chance to share a bit about Friends of ANCHOR and what we offer, which is lovely. I like sharing about what we do so they know about the support available for them. What are some of the things you have found most rewarding in your job? Honestly, all of it. I can’t pinpoint one particular thing; but one of the best parts is how rewarding it can be to see the patients smile for the time I am with them. I know that during this time they are just enjoying themselves, they are not thinking about the treatment they are going through and hopefully it makes their time in the ANCHOR Unit a little easier.

it is just amazing to be part of that. It’s a slice of normality for the patients and I like being there for them, to give them a bit of a boost. What would you say to patients who have not yet used the wellbeing services? The Friends of ANCHOR wellbeing team is so passionate about the support they can offer. I would say patients are well looked after the minute they step in to the ANCHOR Unit. Little things like having your nails done can make a big impact and as a team, we always work together to make sure each patient gets the service they would like. The wellbeing team offers such a variety of services and the prospect of growing and developing the support further is really exciting. For some patients their first time getting their nails professionally done has been in the ANCHOR Unit - it sparks a newfound love of treating themselves to a pamper which they so deserve! We are all so grateful that we get to be a part of that.

I can glance over to someone who has just had their nails done and they are so pleased,

www.friendsofanchor.org

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FEELING FESTIVE

SILENT DISCO ADVENTURES This winter we’re the chosen charity for the Aberdeen Christmas Village and to celebrate, we’re bringing a festive silent disco adventure to town! Every weekend we’ll be bringing back the old fashioned tradition of carol singing… with a modern twist! Gather together your family, friends or workmates and grab one of our headsets to rock around every Christmas tree! Celebrating the festivities in style, you’ll join your tour guide from the famous Silent Adventures - the team who brought you this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Silent Disco. Let the tempo build with a half hour of hand-picked festive tunes to get you in the spirit as you dance your way around the winter wonderland of the Christmas village. Looking for the perfect way to kickstart your Christmas bash? With all profits going directly to the charity, your festive party will also benefit a great cause.

Fridays 5pm - 9pm, Saturdays 2pm - 8pm, Sundays 1pm - 5pm. Running from Friday 22nd November - Sunday 22nd December. Events begin on the hour and last 30 minutes. Tickets available to pre-book by emailing info@friendsofanchor.org. Email pre-booking will close each Thursday at 12pm for the coming weekend. From then, tickets will be available to purchase on the day, from the Christmas Village bar area. Ticket prices are £10 per adult, £7.50 per child or £25 for a family of four (two adults and two children). Please note this attraction is recommended for children over the age of five. Buggies and pushchairs unfortunately cannot be permitted. Babes in arms are welcome. Organised in partnership by Aberdeen Inspired, Aberdeen City Council and Codona’s, the Aberdeen Christmas Village will open to the public at Broad Street and Upperkirkgate on November 21 and run until December 31. For more information on other Aberdeen Christmas Village attractions please visit aberdeeninspired.com/christmasvillage

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CHRISTMAS SHOPPING PLANNING YOUR CHRISTMAS SHOPPING? OUR FRIENDS OF ANCHOR SHOP HAS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE, FROM NOTEBOOKS FOR STATIONERY LOVERS, TO SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED WATER BOTTLES AND COFFEE CUPS FOR THE ECO-FRIENDLY FESTIVE GIFT.

Our scented candles look and smell wonderful while our gorgeous make-up and wash bags are a great practical gift.

Our Give a Gift 2020 is just the ticket and will make a real difference right here in the Northeast of Scotland.

Our charity Christmas cards are back in stock, as are our popular festive stocking fillers. These are limited edition so place your order early to secure your candy cane reindeer, Santa keys, reindeer dust and reindeer hot chocolate cones.

You can make a one-off donation in place of a gift or donate a sum of your choice for a monthly period of your choosing. The recipient will receive a personalised card from Friends of ANCHOR, telling them about the difference being made every month for local cancer and haematology care thanks to the Give a Gift donation.

Browse all our merchandise and cards on our website at friendsofanchor.org and select the ‘merchandise’ tab. Still searching for the perfect gift for that loved one who has everything?

To find out more or to purchase this thoughtful gift, please email info@friendsofanchor.org

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Spotlight Issue 9 / 2019


KERRY BAKEWELL

UP CLOSE

AS THE SENIOR CHARGE NURSE IN THE HAEMATOLOGY INPATIENT WARD WITHIN THE ANCHOR UNIT, FRIENDS OF ANCHOR COMMITTEE MEMBER KERRY SEES FIRST-HAND THE SUPPORT THE CHARITY PROVIDES. How long have you worked in the ANCHOR Unit? I have worked in the ANCHOR Unit for 18 years. I initially worked in oncology and then moved through to the haematology inpatient ward. Ironically, it’s not the path I originally planned for my nursing career but after completing a placement in the ANCHOR Unit I knew I was there to stay! What insights has being a member of the Friends of ANCHOR Committee given you into the work of the charity? I’ve been a committee member with Friends of ANCHOR for five years now. Funding applications go before the committee for deliberation so we can ensure funds are ringfenced where most appropriate. Being personally involved has given me an even greater insight into what the charity funds year-after-year. Prior to being on the committee, I’d seen first-hand the spend on the haematology ward with wellbeing services, support and equipment but I’ve since seen how far the charity’s investment reaches, from large-scale funding in surgical and diagnostic equipment to pilot research projects happening across the road from the hospital. I’ve also benefitted personally from Friends of ANCHOR financial support through the charity-funded nurse development initiative which involved shared learning with hospitals in Glasgow and London. It was such an amazing opportunity, led by NHS Grampian, and one I’m immensely grateful for. Through my time on the committee and sporting my red tee volunteering at fundraising events, it’s been so special and humbling to see the generosity, sacrifice and enthusiasm shown by supporters.

What impact do you see day to day in the ANCHOR Unit, thanks to Friends of ANCHOR support? As a Senior Charge Nurse, I’m in a position to see what support could be beneficial on the ward. This year the ward has benefitted from an £18,000 investment into new infusion pumps and we’ve recently had a new wheelchair funded for patients. The ongoing funding from the charity, like the Saturday newspaper service which the patients love, provides a welcome distraction from the clinical environment and means patients are able to keep up with what’s going on outside the hospital as well as stay connected with loved ones. When I explain to patients about the added extras on offer thanks to Friends of ANCHOR, they are always pleasantly surprised. The simple things like fruit pots or icicles in the afternoon are loved by the patients and having access to an air bed for a relative to stay overnight can make a big difference to time spent here. The wellbeing team are always on hand to give patients a ‘break’ from being in hospital. With wellbeing services including massage, manicures and wig styling, some patients say it even feels like a spa! With The ANCHOR Centre opening in 2022 to care for day and outpatients, all inpatient care will remain where it is. The standard of care for inpatients is excellent- what is so special about the wards? A number of patients have said it feels like they are coming home when they are in the ward, which I think is testament to the friendly atmosphere and excellent standard of care from our staff, who are passionate about all aspects of haematology and oncology care. They continually demonstrate their dedication to ensuring that person-centred care is delivered to

the highest standard. With the help of Friends of ANCHOR, we have been able to provide extra comforts for patients during their stay in hospital and we aim to make the wards a welcoming environment for patients and their families. The inpatient wards are relatively new; they were completed in 2013, with single rooms which means every patient has privacy and comfort. Do you feel it is important for Friends of ANCHOR to continue its investment into research, equipment and wellbeing services? One hundred percent. I see massive changes to the treatment in haematology over the years I have been in the ANCHOR Unit as a result of research. Equipment spend is fundamental to over and above what NHS alone can provide, and the wellbeing services are a fantastic addition to the high standards of care given within the wards. I see first-hand how all three areas of funding benefit patients and how it’s continually getting bigger and developing further. We never take these things for granted because we are so lucky to have Friends of ANCHOR’s continued commitment and investment. What would you say to anyone who is currently fundraising for Friends of ANCHOR? Firstly, a massive thank you! Regardless of the size of donation or scale of fundraising, anything you raise goes directly towards a really good cause. Your money is well spent, as we put a lot of thought into where the funds go. It is amazing to be able to provide extras in addition to what NHS Grampian provides, and it really makes a difference to patients and staff within the ANCHOR Unit on a daily basis. It is fantastic to see people keep their fundraising local for Friends of ANCHOR, especially as there are so many charities to choose from these days.

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VOLUNTEER FOCUS

AT THE HEART OF IT IMAGE

You bring so much passion to your involvement with the charity - what prompted you to become involved? I can proudly say I have been wearing my red tee (I have more than one!) for over four years. The charity supports so many people we know, including some of our family up in the islands, in Orkney. As a family, we became involved in 2015, but we felt inspired to do more in May 2016, when one of our long-term employees and a close friend of ours, Mark Raeburn, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Mark was a patient in the ANCHOR Unit in Aberdeen and also the Beatson Centre in Glasgow where he had a bone marrow transplant. He sadly lost his brave battle in December 2016, age 34. One of my dearest friends has also attended the ANCHOR Unit for the past four years and, like so many others, has received such a high level of care and support there. We have carried on fundraising for Friends of ANCHOR with these special people and all our loved ones past and present very much in our hearts. I can proudly say I’ll be wearing my red tee for many years to come. You’ve helped at so many Friends of ANCHOR events over the years. What keeps you coming back time after time? I’m always delighted to put on my red T-shirt and help

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WE CONSIDER OUR VOLUNTEERS PART OF OUR EXTENDED CHARITY FAMILY. WE CAUGHT UP WITH GEMMA CAMERON, WHO HAS BEEN A PASSIONATE AMBASSADOR FOR THE CHARITY IN HER COMMUNITY FOR THREE YEARS, HELPING TO RAISE A PHENOMENAL £110,000 IN THE PROCESS.

at any event. Being part of the ‘red army’ of volunteers is an incredible feeling and I always get such a buzz. Through Friends of ANCHOR, I have met some amazing people and have a whole new circle of friends. We all have the same love and passion for the charity, and we are all there for the same reason. Volunteering at the Brave and Courage on the Catwalk events is a highlight for me. Our family business, James Jamieson Construction, has sponsored Brave from its first year in 2017. We knew from the start it was something special and we are so proud to be part of such an amazing event. It’s a very emotional weekend but I find it so inspiring. While it’s sad that cancer is what brings this event – and everyone involved - together, it’s equally uplifting that everyone is there celebrating love, life and friendship at the same time. I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere with so much emotion and love in one room; it’s definitely an event people should go to, whether they know someone in the show or not. You will love it! You champion the cause at every chance by organising your own fundraising events, with your family fundraising total sitting at an incredible £110,000. What would you say to anyone who’d like to fundraise? We have such a great network of support in my local area of Ellon. There are various charities and causes we support, but Friends of ANCHOR is extremely close to many of us. We’ve organised craft fayres, bag packing events, stalls at open days, and we have a presence at our local school

open day which is special as so many of the children’s parents or relatives have been through or are going through treatment. It’s a special cause to many. I would encourage anyone else to get involved and hold their own fundraising events, not only to raise vital funds for Friends of ANCHOR but also to raise awareness of the charity and what it does. I’m a great believer that together we can make a difference. What excites you the most about the future of the charity? I’ve seen the support Friends of ANCHOR offers go from strength to strength over the last few years and can see the difference it makes to the people we love and care for. I am most looking forward to seeing the new ANCHOR Centre built - having all the outpatient oncology and haematology services under one roof will be amazing – the facility will benefit so many. I feel comforted knowing Friends of ANCHOR is on hand to help those who need it most, right here on our doorstep. The charity will always be there to help with those “extras”, over and above the core services of the NHS. Those extras are hugely beneficial in that they make what can be a very difficult journey that little more bearable and comfortable for patients and their families. The only way is up for Friends of ANCHOR and I can’t wait to see what the future brings!


WORKING TOGETHER

CORPORATE PARTNERS

HERE’S WHAT SOME OF OUR CORPORATE PARTNERS HAVE BEEN UP TO RECENTLY…

Nicol of Skene

Premiere Productions

CNOOC International

2019 has been a bumper year for Nicol of Skene in their fundraising efforts for Friends of ANCHOR. By donating every time their suction excavator, ‘The Anchorator’ is hired, they have raised £1,375 since the year began.

Year after year, Premiere Productions has done so much to champion the cause for Friends of ANCHOR. The company’s director Gail Rose has been a passionate ambassador for the charity since the partnership began back in 2013 for the first ever year of Courage on the Catwalk.

In 2019, the team at CNOOC International has found many inventive ways to support the charity.

The team at Nicol has been passionately flying the flag for the charity with lots of creative ideas – including their summer extravaganza, the Furry Friends of ANCHOR dog walk. Held this summer at Haddo House, the event was a sell-out success, with hundreds of walkers taking to the walking routes. Nicol employee and Anchorator driver Kevin Milne also took on the challenge of running over 400 miles throughout 13 races to raise a further £904. We were grateful to once again have the exclusive sponsor title backing of Nicol of Skene for ANCHOR Wipeout 2019. As well as their £10,000 event sponsorship, the Nicol Wipeout teams threw themselves into their fundraising efforts and brought their a-game to tackle the obstacles, with a sponsor team represented on both days of the event – led by brother and sister duo Stephanie and Liam Nicol, with the company’s founders and directors Derek and Lynn Nicol cheering from the sidelines. Stephanie and her dad Derek also sported their red tees to take on the Aberdeen Kiltwalk raising a further £6,776 for the cause. Total raised since 2018: £19,085.53

Now with seven years of Courage on the Catwalk and three years of Brave under our belts, Gail and her team at Premiere have styled and trained 168 Courage models and 72 Brave gents. The annual support from Premiere Productions brings so much to these yearly events that have collectively raised over £1m, helping rebuild confidence for the 24 models who take part each year. Alongside this invaluable support, Premiere Productions never ceases to find opportunities to collaborate and champion the cause. Most recently they raised money at their popular annual Dance Proms event at the Beach Ballroom; an event that showcases the incredible talents of dancers from local schools across the North-east. Funds collected at Dance Proms total a wonderful £2,992.54, proving that every penny donated really does make a difference. Total raised since 2016: £2,992.54

Two of the company’s employees, Debbie Gray and Leigh McGinty, bravely took to the skies for the ultimate adrenaline-fuelled fundraising challenge, raising £4,778.76 through their skydive. To end their year of support on a high, CNOOC International will also be hosting their second annual Christmas stall in aid of the charity, raising funds and awareness as colleagues are encouraged to pick up their stocking fillers and support the cause. Once again in 2019, for the fourth year, CNOOC International supported our annual fundraising event, Courage on the Catwalk. We were delighted to welcome the company back, this time as our headline corporate partner. Always going above and beyond, CNOOC International also lent a fantastic space in their building, for rehearsals and interview filming, with a number of their staff volunteering their evenings to host the models. With a delicious supper spread and warm welcome laid on at the rehearsals hosted by CNOOC International, the models were treated to an evening of lavish hospitality. Total raised since 2018: £5,549.52, with significant support as our Courage on the Catwalk headline corporate partner. www.friendsofanchor.org

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UNDER THE LENS

RESEARCH FUNDED BY FRIENDS OF ANCHOR COULD LEAD TO A NEW APPROACH FOR CANCER TREATMENT CHARITY FUNDS PILOT STUDY INTO A NEW ANTI-CANCER COMPOUND WHICH COULD PREVENT THE GROWTH AND SPREAD OF SOME CANCERS.

Research funded by Friends of ANCHOR has given scientists a better understanding of how new targeted cancer drugs could be developed, helping to prevent the growth and spread of tumours. The pioneering pilot study, which took place at the Institute of Medical Sciences at the University of Aberdeen campus at Foresterhill, was made possible thanks to a £10,000 grant from the charity. The next steps could herald an exciting move forward in drug developments. Led by Dr Ian Fleming, the team of four local researchers produced large quantities of a new compound called ZMPZAT71-paclitaxel, made in the lab by combining the established anti-cancer drug paclitaxel with a new molecule. Dr Fleming explained: “The spread of cancer cells throughout the body is called metastasis. It is a significant issue and is the greatest cause of cancer patient mortality. Our study examined the effects of a new type of potential drug that could prevent this growth. “We used specialised tests that mimic the way that cancer cells spread throughout the body to analyse the effects of our new compound. The research looked at whether the compound can selectively decrease the growth of cancer cells that express a specific type of integrin protein.

“The results of our research are significant; they found that our conjugate compound had a greater inhibitory effect on cell growth than its separate parts alone. This data suggests that conjugate drugs could offer a useful new strategy in treatment. This approach could lead to a new class of drugs to combat metastases and could have a significant positive effect on survival outcomes in cancer patients.” With such exciting results from this pilot study, Dr Fleming and his team, which includes Dr Alexandra Andriu, Dr Monica Piras and Professor Matteo Zanda, are now preparing an application for funding from the Chief Scientific Office. If successful, this will provide the funds needed to allow the team to further build on their findings. “Any compound that can potentially combat metastases is worthy of further study,” said Dr Fleming. Professor Valerie Speirs, who is chair in molecular oncology for the University of Aberdeen’s oncology research team, agreed the findings hold potential for exciting developments. She said: “Once cancer has spread it is incurable, unfortunately. New ways of tackling metastasis and hence preventing cancer spread are badly needed. While still early days, the approach being taken by Dr

Fleming is really exciting as we look to develop improved drugs which may increase survival in cancer.”

All pilot research funded by Friends of ANCHOR takes place in the city, either within The University of Aberdeen, Robert Gordon University or NHS Grampian. Other pilot projects funded in the past year included research into bowel cancer, leukaemia and sickle cell anaemia. The charity commits up to £100,000 a year to fund multiple pilot research projects, helping to grow the foundations of our knowledge of cancer and diseases of the blood, to produce initial data and results to attract large-scale research funding.

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PATIENT PERSPECTIVE

ETHEL’S STORY AMBULANCE CARE ASSISTANT ETHEL NEVER EXPECTED TO BE ON THE RECEIVING END OF A CANCER DIAGNOSIS, BUT SHE HASN’T LET IT DAMPEN HER ZEST FOR LIFE.

Earlier this year, Ethel (whose friends know her as Margaret) was prescribed antibiotics for a chest infection. The infection cleared and she was able to enjoy a holiday in sunny Spain, thinking nothing more of it. A few weeks after she got home from her travels, Margaret contracted another chest infection but when this one cleared it left a distinct pain in her legs that urged her to visit her GP again. After having blood tests, Margaret was referred to the haematology department within the ANCHOR Unit for further tests. She was kept in overnight and the following day was diagnosed with acute leukaemia. For Margaret, who felt otherwise fit and healthy, the diagnosis came as a complete shock. “I had never been in hospital until the end of last year when I had my ovaries removed due to benign cysts. I couldn’t believe this was happening to me. I asked the doctors how long they thought I had had leukaemia for, and they believe I had been undiagnosed for only four to six weeks, so I was very lucky to have caught it early. “When I look back now, I was tired, losing weight and, on occasion, my hair would fall out but I thought, if anything, it might have been thyroid problems. My daughter knew something was not right after I kept falling asleep on the sofa and I was not being my usual self.” Margaret soon embarked on an intensive course of chemotherapy called CPX.

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Spotlight Issue 9 / 2019

“My children, Kevin, Neil and Julie were worried about me going through such intense treatment, but the doctors reassured them I was strong enough. I knew I wanted to beat cancer and not let it beat me, so a fortnight later I had a bone marrow biopsy and in midJuly I started chemotherapy.

“ From the moment I came into the ANCHOR Unit, the Friends of ANCHOR wellbeing staff were so friendly and welcoming, making themselves and the services on offer known. I used to love doing jigsaws and when I saw Heather, who has been my hairdresser for years, she brought one through and we sat doing that.” “The wellbeing services have made my time here more comfortable and normal. I have had my nails done, a massage and a haircut, and these offer such a welcome break from the daily routine. I’ve enjoyed and appreciated all the services. Each of the team will say hello or come in for a chat, which really helps and made me feel comfortable enough to use the services straight away. “The team are so nice and are happy to help in any way they can. Sometimes they will walk with me down to the shop so I can get my weekend paper– and there’s also a Saturday

newspaper service where they bring the paper to me. There are so many treats on offer such as manicures, massages, podiatry and hair and wig styling, so there really is something for everyone. You just need to try it and you’ll realise what a difference it truly makes.” With regular visits from friends and family, Margaret has also used the time out room which offers a non-clinical space away from the ward, with puzzles, games and crafts – or simply a space to enjoy a cuppa and a blether with one of the team. “I knew about the charity before coming into the ANCHOR Unit but had no idea of the extent of what they do,” said Margaret. “When my daughter Julie brought in my granddaughters for a visit, the timeout room was a great space for me to spend time with the girls. My youngest granddaughter loves to do crafts and she could have spent hours in there, colouring in cups and making cards. I have also borrowed a few DVDs and watched them with the girls when they come in too. It has been so great to have this service on offer.” Having friends who have fundraised for the charity in the past, Margaret knows only too well the difference that every penny makes, especially with the £2m target for the new ANCHOR Centre. “It is amazing that every penny raised goes straight to the cause. The new ANCHOR Centre will make such a difference to the day and outpatient care, and will continue the charity’s focus to provide as much comfort as possible to those going through a cancer diagnosis.”


www.friendsofanchor.org

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Spotlight Issue 9 / 2019


IN FOCUS

LIVE CELL IMAGING PAVES THE WAY FOR PIONEERING RESEARCH INTO CANCER BIOLOGY AND HAEMATOLOGY CUTTING EDGE EQUIPMENT UPGRADE FUNDED BY THE CHARITY GIVES SCIENTISTS INSIGHT INTO THE BIOLOGY OF CANCER AND HAEMATOLOGY DISEASES.

“This is helping our team of worldrenowned researchers to gain a more in-depth understanding of the processes that contribute to cancer metastasis and haematological disorders. “Some of the work we have done with the microscope, watching how certain cells respond to foreign material, is being translated to studies in breast cancer as a new collaboration with our cancer specialist Professor Speirs.” A state-of-the-art microscope camera funded by Friends of ANCHOR has proved to be a critical research tool in cancer biology and haematology at the University of Aberdeen, helping drive forward progress across a whole spectrum of cancer research projects. The £20,410 piece of kit is used primarily by Professor Heather Wilson and the microscopy facility team at the University of Aberdeen, but its benefits are being felt by a far wider group of researchers. Prof Wilson, who applied for the funding to purchase the camera, said: “There is no doubt that research here in Aberdeen has benefitted from the camera upgrade provided by Friends of ANCHOR. This highresolution camera is essential to capture a level of detail in 3D multicellular structures that otherwise wouldn’t be seen.

The camera has been on-site in the Microscopy facility at the Institute of Medical Sciences at Foresterhill for a little over a year, and researchers there have seen significantly improved levels of clarity and interesting outcomes as they examine the way live cells behave. Professor Val Speirs, chair in molecular oncology for the University of Aberdeen’s oncology research team, has been working on a project investigating migration of cancer cells towards fragments of human bone. This is a new way of studying breast cancer metastasis without the need to use animal models. The camera upgrade has greatly facilitated these studies, she said. “In order to keep our research cutting-edge it’s essential that we have access to the very latest pieces of scientific kit. The funding kindly provided by Friends of ANCHOR has allowed

us to upgrade our cell imaging system and this has greatly facilitated our ability to view how cells migrate. This is one of the first steps involved in cancer spread so to be able to image this in greater detail is fantastic as we look to tease out the mechanisms involved.” The upgraded camera purchased by the charity is far superior to its predecessor, which helps to combat the problems faced by researchers as they examine live cells. Dr Wilson explained: “A major challenge of live cell imaging is keeping cells alive and functioning as naturally as possible for the duration of the experiment. Having overcome these hurdles, we needed a more sensitive camera which operates at a faster rate, allowing us to examine cells in real-time and further detail, to produce a more accurate analysis of what is happening within them. “This upgrade has dramatically increased the speed, sensitivity and accuracy of the imaging systems required by our internationally renowned research programmes in cancer and immunobiology. It’s made a significant difference to the way we’re working, and we are so grateful to Friends of ANCHOR for making this step forward a reality. This knowledge will aid in the development of better therapies for North-east cancer patients, feeding back to the objectives of our hard working and dedicated fundraisers.”

www.friendsofanchor.org

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RECENT EVENTS

FRIENDS OF ANCHOR MASKED BALL 2019 HELD IN THE STUNNING SURROUNDINGS OF OUR THEMED MARQUEE IN THE HEART OF ABERDEEN’S DUTHIE PARK, THIS YEAR’S MASKED BALL WAS ANOTHER SPECTACULAR AFFAIR AND RAISED A PHENOMENAL £150,000.

Around 400 guests filled the opulent Emerald City-themed marquee for an evening of five-star entertainment and sumptuous dining, with incredible generosity shown throughout the event. Our huge thanks to all those who supported the event as guests, donors, suppliers and volunteers. Our heartfelt thanks must go to our sponsors: Title: Gray & Adams Gold: BP Ruby: Aberdeen Standard Investments, RAM Tubulars, Robertson, Entier Pearl: W M Donald, Lovie Construction Marquee sponsor: Balmoral Committee: Avril Gray, Gordon Hutcheon, Kevin Milne and Sara Rohan

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Spotlight Issue 9 / 2019


ANCHOR WIPEOUT 2019 OUR WET AND WILD SUMMER EVENT WAS ANOTHER HIT THIS YEAR, WITH 45 TEAMS TAKING TO THE ANCHOR WIPEOUT COURSE FOR OUR CORPORATE CUP AND PUBLIC DAY AND OVER 130 CHILDREN TACKLING THE WEE WIPEOUT. With a record £66,380 raised, we crowned our victorious winners and looked ahead to the event in 2020, which is now open for team bookings by emailing info@friendsofanchor.org. With thanks to our title sponsor, Nicol of Skene.

Hazlehead Park, Saturday 15 August 2020 Our Saturday event is one for all the family, with ages 15+ invited to the main arena, while children aged 6-14 can sign up as Wee Wipeout warriors. Teams of 6-10 are welcome to take part, with a variety of wet and dry obstacles to put you through your paces! With plenty of affordable sideline fun, we invite you to bring your family, friends and picnic blanket to settle in for the day.

Hazlehead Park, Friday 14 August 2020 Coming into its third year, our Corporate Cup is the perfect team building challenge. Round up your colleagues or clients and get ready for a day packed with fun inflatable obstacles and relays. With full hospitality from start to finish, including hot breakfast, bbq lunch and celebratory fizz, you and your teammates will be well catered for. www.friendsofanchor.org

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ANCHOR WITH US

ANCHOR TOGETHER WITH US For many, a new year means new resolutions. We’ve all heard those ‘beach bod’ and ‘no booze’ resolutions, which often fall by the wayside come February. In 2020, we’re inviting you to sign up to something that will make a real difference.

SAVE THE DATE

HERE’S A GLIMPSE OF SOME OF EVENTS YOU CAN GET INVOLVED WITH OVER THE COMING FEW MONTHS.

NOVEMBER 2019 16, 23 & 30 Eat on the Green Ladies Days, in support of Friends of ANCHOR

By standing ANCHORED Together with us, you can help to make a real impact in the lives of cancer and haematology patients right here in the North-east of Scotland. If you’d like to do your bit without breaking a sweat, you can get involved in many other ways; by organising your own fundraising event such as a bake sale or race night, signing up to one of our annual events or gifting your time as a volunteer. To make a collective impact, encourage your company to come on board as one of our Corporate Partners to raise vital funds. To ‘be the change’ and make every single penny matter, get in touch to arrange for a collection can in your work space. It’s as simple as popping any loose change in the can and letting us know when it’s filled. Every penny raised will go directly to the cause, as all the charity’s running and administration costs are fully covered by Balmoral. Email info@friendsofanchor.org

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Spotlight Issue 9 / 2019

7 & 21

Aberdeen Lynx Ice Hockey match, in support of Friends of ANCHOR Weekends throughout December: Friends of ANCHOR Silent Disco Adventures

JANUARY 2020 18 & 25

Aberdeen Lynx Ice Hockey match, in support of Friends of ANCHOR

9, 23 & 30 Aberdeen Lynx Ice Hockey match, in support of Friends of ANCHOR 22

Friends of ANCHOR Silent Disco Adventures launches (see P8)

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Alford Christmas Festival – visit our stall!

FEBRUARY 2020 1 & 22 Aberdeen Lynx Ice Hockey match, in support of Friends of ANCHOR

Weekends throughout November: Friends of ANCHOR Silent Disco Adventures

DECEMBER 2019 7, 14, 21 & 28 Eat on the Green Ladies Days, in support of Friends of ANCHOR

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Charity dinner dance, Ban Car Hotel, Fraserburgh. Call 01346 532578 for tickets.


SHARE THE LOVE

HEARTFELT MESSAGES FROM THOSE WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED THE EXCELLENT CARE WITHIN THE ANCHOR UNIT AS A PATIENT, FAMILY MEMBER OR FRIEND.

“October marks my five-year all clear anniversary and I am so deeply grateful for all the care given by ENT, the ANCHOR Unit and Friends of ANCHOR. My family and I have been given time we might never have had together but for my treatment. Time to see two daughters married and one granddaughter born! Precious and priceless. Bless you.” “My amazing late wife and I were both lucky to have contact with Friends of ANCHOR staff during her illness and treatment. It made things a lot brighter and easier to cope with.” “We are enormously grateful for all the kindness, care and support my husband and I received while I was having treatment in the ANCHOR Unit this year.” “My wife attended chemo and radiotherapy treatments in the ANCHOR Unit, and the staff there were always very good. Friends of ANCHOR cheered her up each time by treating her to a manicure.” “My husband loved his visits from the Friends of ANCHOR wellbeing team. Heather the hairdresser and all the girls were very good to him during his treatment. He would love to know that I now carry on his wish to donate once a year to help give something back.”

To share a message of gratitude with the staff of the wards and clinics in the ANCHOR Unit please email info@friendsofanchor.org www.friendsofanchor.org

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N D S O FA N C H

Friends of ANCHOR, c/o Balmoral Group Holdings Ltd, Balmoral Park, Loirston, Aberdeen AB12 3GY t. 01224 859170 e. info@friendsofanchor.org w. friendsofanchor.org

Registered Charity No: SC025332

DESIGNED BY ALANA@WEAREWIRELESS.CO.UK

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Friends of ANCHOR Spotlight - Issue 9  

Friends of ANCHOR Spotlight Magazine - Issue 9

Friends of ANCHOR Spotlight - Issue 9  

Friends of ANCHOR Spotlight Magazine - Issue 9

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