Charities team up to fund vital equipment for early cancer diagnosis

Chris Curtis, chief executive officer of The Swallows and Rebecca Ferguson, from Blue Skies Hospitals Fund, present a cheque for �31,000 to Ajay Nigam, ENT consultant at Blackpool Victoria Hospital
Chris Curtis, chief executive officer of The Swallows and Rebecca Ferguson, from Blue Skies Hospitals Fund, present a cheque for �31,000 to Ajay Nigam, ENT consultant at Blackpool Victoria Hospital
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An Ironman challenge and scaling Mount Kilimanjaro were just two of the charity challenges taken on to raise tens of thousands of pounds in just six months.

Two medical charities teamed up to raise £31,000 for a specialist ear, nose and throat (ENT) scanner for Blackpool Victoria Hospital which will help with early cancer diagnosis.

The Swallows Head and Neck Cancer Support Group set out in January this year to raise enough cash to purchase the scanner, after ENT consultant Ajay Nigam (pictured) told of its need.

The Swallows chief executive officer Chris Curtis jumped at the chance to bring in a vital piece of equipment, having survived neck cancer.

He approached Blue Skies Hospitals Fund, the charity for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, who agreed to fund half of the scanner. Mr Curtis said: “Mr Nigam asked for our support in purchasing this scanner, and I said yes before I even knew how much it would cost.”

As well as Blue Skies, a number of other charities and organisations pledged their support to the appeal, including Queendeans, Rotary and the Freemasons.

And fund-raisers took part in the Blackpool 10k, an Iron Man Challenge in Austria and one person climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.

Mr Curtis said: “We can’t wait to see the delivery of this scanner. It will be hugely important in the early diagnosis of head and neck cancer which is proven to increase survivorship of the disease.

Mr Nigam added: “The ENT department is extremely grateful to The Swallows and Blue Skies Hospitals Fund for making this happen.”

Amanda Bennett, head of fundraising at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals, said: “This piece of equipment will go a long way in enhancing patient care at our hospitals.

“We are pleased this target has been achieved so quickly and look forward to seeing the scanner making a big difference in patients’ lives.”