Actress praises Norfolk cancer support group after visiting Big C Centre
- Credit: copyright: Archant 2014
A star of stage and screen praised the support available to patients with a form of blood cancer after visiting the Big C Centre near Norwich.
Maureen Lipman, who is currently treading the boards at the Norwich Theatre Royal with the hit play Daytona, paid a visit to the Norwich and Norfolk Myeloma Support Group today to chat with patients who are going through treatment for the disease.
The 68-year-old, who lost her husband Jack Rosenthal to myeloma ten years ago, was given a tour of the Big C Centre at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and met with members of the support group who usually meet on the first Thursday of the month.
The actress, who is honorary patron of the Myeloma UK charity, said Norfolk was lucky to have a facility like the Big C Centre.
'It is a good place and Big C have done a good job in funding it. You need a place where you can be yourself and have a laugh and talk about what has happened or drop in and have a cup of tea,' she said.
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She added that she was trying to raise more awareness of myeloma. 'Even when you have lost some one with myeloma, it is very difficult to envisage where it is. Who knows where your blood plasma is and most people think of melanoma, which is skin cancer,' she said.
Nearly 4,000 people are diagnosed with myeloma every year in the UK, which affects the blood plasma cells in bone marrow. There is currently no cure for the condition, but new drugs are halting the progression of the disease meaning that patients can live longer.
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David Wharton, 58, of Newton Flotman, who is the acting chairman of the cancer support group, said it had been an 'enormous boost' to welcome the actress to a special gathering the group.
Maureen Lipman will be performing in Daytona at the Norwich Theatre Royal until Saturday.